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Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D.

Dr. Dorothy, Hypnotherapist, is an internationally recognized authority on bridging Science, Spirit, and Human Potential with over 30+ years experience.

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Emotional Aftereffects of Rape

FEAR: Usually a sexual assault survivor has experiences the fear of losing her/his life. Therefore, fear is the dominate emotion. Talk with your professional about measures you can take to feel safe; are the doors and windows locked, are emergency phone numbers easily accessible, etc. As a result of this fear, rape survivors generally need to make changes in lifestyle, and this loss of freedom may bring up anger. Focus on personal strengths and on the present rather than on the past.

ANGER: There is often as much anger at the events following the assault, as toward the assault itself; -needing to change lifestyle, -loss of freedom, -being told to “get over it” by friends, family or authorities. Validate your feelings of anger and create a safe place and time for expression. How can you express your anger in a constructive way? Does the expression of anger help to diffuse it?

GUILT AND SHAME: Even though a survivor may know that she/he is not responsible for the assault, the reactions of those around her/him, the media, etc., may create feelings of guilt, shame and responsibility. It is often easier to take the responsibility for blame than to accept that the rape was an experience you never anticipated. Be supportive and nurturing of yourself. Accept other’s limitations and separate the problems of others from yours.

LOSS of TRUST: Often survivors loose all faith in others or males. Validate your feelings as understandable, but remind yourself, people can be trusted and counted on, etc. In any case, people need to earn your trust.

EXTREME ANXIETY–FEELING LIKE YOU ARE GOING CRAZY: The stress of the legal process, etc, loss of sleep, and feelings of lack of control, can cause a person to feel like they’re going crazy. Reassure yourself that these feelings are understandable and are reactions to a crazy situation. Focus on the things that you do have control over, and narrow problems to those which can be dealt with right now.

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