Those involved in the trauma of sexual assault will need assistance and guidance from trained professionals in multiple disciplines. The victim’s legal representation must prioritize that their client receives therapeutic support to ensure their well-being during case proceedings.
Therapy and counseling for sexual assault survivors play an essential role in ensuring justice and closure; however, many people are unsure how to help survivors through such difficult times.
In today’s blog, our sexual assault attorneys in San Diego will explore how therapy and counseling can affect sexual assault cases and how attorneys can use these services to support their clients.
Table of Contents
What Is Sexual Assault, and How Common Is It?
Sexual assault is all unwanted sexual or sensual physical contact that harms a victim.
It can include, but isn’t limited to, unwanted or forced:
It is a prevalent crime, with an estimated 463,634 victims every year. Unfortunately, many such cases remain unreported because victims are afraid or ashamed of speaking up and seeking help.
Therapy and counseling can be effective in helping individuals talk through their experiences, assist them with their healing process, help them remember events accurately, and provide emotional support throughout legal proceedings.
The Psychological Impact of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault may very well be one of the most emotionally damaging experiences someone can endure.
It can have a profound and long-term psychological impact on survivors, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, which can affect all aspects of someone’s life. Besides, it can be particularly difficult for victims to relive the events as they testify. The standard stress of legal proceedings further compounds this difficulty.
Therapy, counseling, and support services can provide victims with a safe space to discuss the experience and address the debilitating side effects. Experienced professionals can create a tailored plan to rebuild the confidence damaged by the trauma of sexual assault, so they can work through the difficulties of overcoming a sexual assault case.
Types of Counseling Available to Survivors of Sexual Assault
Multiple types of counseling are available for survivors of assault, each tailored to the individual’s needs and preferences. Options range from traditional one-on-one therapy, where specialized therapists provide treatment that often focuses on talk therapy, to group sessions with individuals who have experienced the same thing.
Other forms of counseling may involve art or leisure activities, such as yoga, to engage in a more creative form of self-expression without verbal communication. Regardless of the desired type, finding a counselor trained in trauma therapy who has dealt with such issues before is crucial.
An attorney will help assess the most effective and appropriate action for their client, which moves them towards healing and prepares them to handle court well.
How Attorneys Can Assist Their Clients in Seeking Counseling
Finding the proper mental health care professional to work with sometimes takes time. Attorneys are likely to have a trusted network of therapists with the necessary experience and training to work with victims of assault during legal proceedings.
If an attorney and their client discuss therapy or counseling as a potential avenue, they will ensure the client understands their options before proceeding with service. The client will also understand the relationship between the therapist and the attorney, so expectations for confidentiality and how that impacts the case are clear.
It’s also important for the client to know the different types of cases and damages they can pursue regarding sexual assault. This will further assist in seeking the right treatment option.
Supporting Survivors Through the Legal Process
The legal procedure for survivors of sexual assault is a complex and emotionally exhausting experience, requiring resilience and dedication. While seeking justice for their ordeals, many victims find solace in having an extensive network of professionals specializing in the various aspects of this situation.
Trained clinicians have the expertise to provide helpful coping strategies and emotional guidance during this difficult time, while the legal counsel can give peace of mind and direction regarding court.
Survivors Need a Team. Get the Help You Need With Your Sexual Assault Case From HHJ Trial Attorneys
Therapy and counseling are essential components of the healing process after experiencing a sexual assault but may also be necessary for a successful trial.
Attorneys should assist clients in accessing therapy, support their mental health needs throughout the legal proceedings, and provide educational resources about the forms of help available.
By employing these support resources, attorneys can fully equip their clients to participate actively in their healing journey. When you opt to work with the team at HHJ, you can take comfort in the fact that we have an entire group of experienced individuals who will be there for you and with you every step of the way.
Whether your next step is filing a case or finding a counselor, work with a legal professional to advise you on the best decision. We’re here to be a part of your healing process.