Sexual assault studies (National Sexual Violence Resource Center, NSVRC 2015) suggest that nearly one in 5 women and and one in 71 men will have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetime; furthermore, one of 4 girls and one of 6 boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old; and one in 5 women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college,” (Babash, Psychology Today, 2019).
These are alarming statistics since we know that sexual assault is traumatic, and can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. NSVRC reports that 70% of sexual assault survivors experience moderate to severe distress (NSVRC, 2016, Babash, Psychology Today, 2019). All to often though individuals do not seek out help, either feeling they can handle it on their own or hide it out of: feelings of shame, self-blame, fear of retaliation, fear of not being believed, pressure from others, distrust of law enforcement or trying to protect the attacker.
However, we at Trauma and Beyond ® understand the importance of seeking help. This level of trauma does not generally go away on its own. It festers inside and ends up disrupting not just the internal self of the person who has been attacked but also interferes with capacity to develop healthy trusting relationships with others. The mind may not hold the trauma but the body may hold it for the mind.
After sexual assault it is common for the person who has been attacked to have PTSD symptoms such as, feeling loss of control, reexperiencing of the trauma, hypervigilance, nightmares and sleep problems.
A person may seek sexual trauma treatment as a child, an adolescent or as an adult. Sexual assault can happen at any time of life or throughout a person’s life. You may have been assaulted as a child, but have ongoing PTSD reactions as an adult. You may have been assaulted several times in your life, and treatment for sexual abuse can occur at any age. It may occur in childhood, adolescence, and again in adulthood. Sometimes we “think” sexual trauma has been resolved but in fact it is still held painfully in the body and effecting ongoing relationships.
You may remember the abuse clearly, have hazy memories, or not remember it all. You may not remember being abused but you may know that in your current life your body “cringes,” from sexual touch. We at Trauma and Beyond Psychological Center ® can work with you to safely and comfortably help you explore from a bottom up and top down perspective using integrated trauma treatment modalities what your body, mind, or feelings may remember. And support you in the process of healing and being able to move into healthy joyful human relational contact if that is your choosing.
If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse or adult sexual abuse and wish to get sexual trauma help Los Angeles, you can reach out to Trauma and Beyond ® today. We are here to help you heal. Contact us at (818) 651-0725.