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.
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.