Incidents of sexual assault are extremely traumatic and devastating for victims, causing severe emotional suffering. Each victim has a different way of coping and processing the trauma, and they will likely encounter psychological obstacles while recovering from the experience. When the sexual assault occurs, you must take certain steps to ensure that you can hold the guilty party accountable and begin the process of healing from the trauma.
Here are five steps our sexual assault attorneys in San Diego recommend you take when sexually assaulted:
Step #1 — Find Safety
Sexual assault will often cause you to feel shock, derealization, and severe distress. The part of your brain that processes emotion is working in hyperdrive, triggering a fight-or-flight reaction inside you. The best thing you can do is find a safe area where you can feel comfortable and attain a sense of normalcy.
Step #2 — Reach Out for Support
Contact your close family members, friends, or other professionals so that you can talk through your experience. You can confide in someone you trust what happened exactly and discuss the anxiety or anguish that it’s causing you.
Step #3 — Seek Medical Attention
Victims of sexual assault are often reluctant to go to the hospital or a medical facility for treatment. However, the truth is that a healthcare provider will not only help placate your physical and emotional suffering, but they will also collect any forensic evidence. This includes skin cells, blood samples, and other types of physical evidence.
Step #4 — Processing Your Trauma
Victims tend to avoid and not discuss the assault, which is not always an effective way to try and cope with the experience. The last thing you want to do is compartmentalize your feelings because this can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. You should visit a trained clinician, who can offer you therapeutic methods that will allow you to process everything properly. This includes meditating, exercise, and talk therapy to help you overcome the trauma brought upon by the assault.
Step #5 — Pursue Legal Action
Many victims are often unsure about filing a police report, or they fail to consider their legal options altogether. The main fear is that they will have to relive their trauma in order to bring the assailant to justice. However, you must hold the guilty individual responsible for their actions, which will send them a message and likely deter them from assaulting someone else. Take this opportunity to seek justice and ensure that you can help protect other potential victims.
Hiring Legal Representation
If you (or someone you know) are a victim of sexual assault, feel free to give us a call. The sexual assault lawyers here HHJ Trial Attorneys will review your case and immediately begin providing you with legal assistance. We serve many clients throughout San Diego, ensuring that Californians can file and pursue sexual abuse lawsuits. You shouldn’t have to suffer in silence, so schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys today.
Testimonial from Sima, Satisfied Client
I am so grateful for all the help and support I received from Adam Hepburn and his team. He personally called me several times and addressed all my concerns. The quality of their work and genuine care for the victim during difficult time is priceless. They did exactly what they promised to do in a timely manner. The team was super responsive and up to date as well. This firm’s level of professionalism and communication skill is unique and highly appreciated.