Posted By: Parkridge | May 6, 2021
When we see or hear reports of rape or see it portrayed in the media, we know that this is sexual violence: there is a perpetrator, a victim and a crime. The most recent data from the CDC on Sexual Violence and Assault is that more than 1 in 3 women will experience sexual violence involving physical contact during her lifetime. But, Because rape and sexual assault are not limited to crimes involving violence - the reality is that sexual assault isn’t always that simple to identify.
Consent given only because of coercion or pressure isn’t actually consent. And...consent cannot be given while a person is intoxicated. On the surface these things seem plain - but lived out in the real world, some situations can feel confusing and not so straightforward.
Sexual encounters that leave you feeling confused, ashamed, guilty, or fearful suggest that your relationship might be unsafe or unhealthy. If you have experienced any of the situations described below, or are in a relationship where these are routinely occurring, we would encourage you to talk with someone you trust, and who has your best interest at heart (parent, teacher, counselor, mentor) Parkridge provides counseling resources to help you explore and process concerns about your sexual experiences.
Click here to schedule an appointment.
There is a wide range of emotion that you might feel after a sexual encounter,
but healthy sexual encounters don’t leave one partner feeling afraid, angry, ashamed or guilty.
Emotional: “I feel so numb.”
Shock: “Why am I so calm? Why can’t I cry?”
Disbelief: “Did it really happen? Why me?”
Embarrassment: “What will people think? No, I can’t tell my family!”
Shame: “I feel dirty, like there is something wrong with me now.”
Guilt: “I feel as if I did something to make this happen to me. If only I had done…”
Depression: “How am I going to go on? I feel tired and don’t want to be around anyone.”
Powerlessness: “Will I ever feel in control again?”
Disorientation: “I can’t sit still. I’m having trouble getting through the day. I’m just overwhelmed.”
Re-triggering: “I keep having flashbacks or nightmares. I wish they would stop.”
Minimizing: “It’s not a big deal.”
Fear: “I’m afraid. What if I get pregnant or have an STD? Am I safe? Can people tell what’s happened to me? Will I ever get over this? I’m afraid I’m going crazy.”
Anxiety: “I’m a nervous wreck! I have trouble breathing. I can’t sleep. My mind is constantly racing. I worry about everything. I feel on edge all the time. I eat too much or don’t eat at all. I feel sick to my stomach a lot. I have nightmares.”
Anger: “I want to hurt him!”
Denial: “It really wasn’t rape. That didn’t happen.”
It is very common for people to question whether or not their sexual experience meets criteria to be called sexual assault, and it can be helpful to process these sexual experiences with a trained counselor in order to name the experience and restore a sense of trust and safety.
If you have concerns, please talk to someone who can help. Parkridge is here for you. We have licensed professional counselors on staff to help you. Call 806.794.8555 or click here to make a free, confidential appointment.
If you have been assaulted and/or this is an emergency and you are in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1
Other Lubbock resources:
Women’s Protective Services
Voice of Hope:
RAINN (National Sexual Assault Hotline)