Sexual Assault: A Rape Survivor's Story

The Journey Toward Healing Begins with The Truth

Sarah Kate shares her story of rape, alcoholism, and depression with Unveiled Campaign. This downward spiral that she found herself on was the result of a secret she was keeping…she had been abused and sexually assaulted. She is now on a journey toward healing and shares how she was able to unveil the lies from the truth and learn to love herself again.

Here is Sarah Kate's Story: (Grab a tissue, you are going to need it.)

 

Will I Always Be Sad After Being Sexually Assaulted?

It is normal to feel sad, but there is hope. With emotional support, and appropriate medical and psychological treatment, people recovering from sexual assault can regain feelings of joy and can lead happy and healthy lives. It is possible to unveil the lies you're telling yourself and you can walk in truth and freedom to fulfill your dreams and destiny.

What Should I Do If I've Been Raped?

RAINN, a partner of TheHopeLine, shares what to do if you or a friend is sexually assaulted.

It's hard to know what to do, how to feel, or what your options are after a sexual assault. Please know that you're not alone.

  • Find a safe environment anywhere away from the attacker. Ask a trusted friend to stay with you for moral support.
  • Know that what happened was not your fault and that now you should do what is best for you.
  • Report the attack to police by calling 911. A counselor on the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE can help you understand the process.
  • Preserve evidence of the attack - don't bathe or brush your teeth.
  • Write down all the details you can recall about the attack & the attacker.
  • Ask the hospital to conduct a rape kit exam to preserve forensic evidence.
  • If you suspect you were drugged, ask that a urine sample be collected. The sample will need to be analyzed later on by a forensic lab.

If you know that you will never report, still consider:

  • Get medical attention. Even with no physical injuries, it is important to determine the risks of STDs and pregnancy.
  • Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline, operated by RAINN, for free, confidential counseling, 24 hours a day: 1.800.656.HOPE.

Recognize that healing from rape takes time. Give yourself the time you need.

Know that it's never too late to call. Even if the attack happened years ago, the National Sexual Assault Hotline or the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline can still help. Many victims do not realize they need help until months or years later.

What Should I Do If a Friend Is Raped?

It's not always easy to know what to say when someone tells you they've been sexually assaulted, especially when that person is a family member, friend, or loved one.

Consider the following ways of showing support:

  • Be there. Communicate without judgment.
  • If the survivor seeks medical attention or plans to report, offer to be there. Your presence can offer the support they need.
  • Encourage the survivor to get support. Share resources like the National Sexual Assault Hotline and rainn.org, but realize that only they can make the decision to get help.
  • Be patient. Remember, there is no timetable for recovering from trauma. Avoid putting pressure on them to engage in activities they aren't ready to do yet.
  • Encourage them to practice good self-care during this difficult time.
  • If someone you care about is considering suicide, learn the warning signs, and offer help and support. For more information about suicide prevention please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call 800.273.TALK (8255) any time, day or night.
  • To search for your local sexual assault service provider, click here.

For more on sexual assault visit our Sexual Assault topic page for more information and resources.

Here are some additional blogs and stories that may help.

How to Deal After Being Sexually Assaulted? 

Sexual Abuse: Scared to Tell My Story

Coping with Sexual Abuse

Sexual Assault: 15 Tips to Protect Yourself Tips 

Sexual Assault - It's ON US

One Yes, Two Yes, Three Yes, No Means No!

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