Being sexually assaulted can have a long-term, lasting physical and emotional impact. The degree to which someone feels comfortable sharing what happened to them with their loved ones [and supported when they do] can affect healing and recovery in a myriad of ways. One of the best ways to support survivors is to become aware of common physical and emotional responses to traumatic events and where to find advocacy and other resources.
What we've learned, from the research that's been conducted, is that perpetrators who've had an intimate relationship with the targeted person pose the greatest risk. Regardless of the context and circumstances, stalking should be taken seriously and seen as a warning sign of increased trouble and potential of harm ahead.
The main forms of relationship abuse are emotional, financial, physical, and sexual. Abuse involves tactics of manipulation, coercion, intimidation, or harassment, used to gain and maintain power and control over another. Incidents and instances of relationship abuse can occur between current or former dating and domestic partners, family members, caretakers, or even roommates. The behaviors listed in each category, below, were written specifically about relationships that are, or were, intimate and/or romantic in nature.
As an advocate and educator, I am frequently asked about the best ways to support survivors of trauma immediately after an incident, and long term. One of the best starting points in becoming part of a strong support system, is understanding how thoroughly experiencing a traumatic event can impact someone's life. Potentially every aspect of wellness may be impacted by the traumatic experience. Those who has been traumatized are frequently shaken to the core.