5 Signs of Sexual Abuse You Should Know About
While you may not be a victim of sexual abuse, it is likely that you know someone who is. Statistics show that every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. Additionally, one out of every six women in America has been the victim of an attempted or a completed rape. Whether it is a roommate, sister, friend, co-worker, or peer, these individuals need help but in many cases, they may be too scared, embarrassed, or feel too guilty to seek it. Recognizing the signs of a sexual abuse can help you be that support and encouragement these women need to step forward. Here are five signs of sexual abuse that you should recognize.
Everyone will handle a traumatic situation differently. This means that there is no one sign to look for in a sexual assault victim. But, if the person is usually a very happy individual but seems agitated and aggressive more than usual, something may be wrong. Many sexual assault victims experience a lot of anger towards the situation, the attacker, and even themselves.
For many victims, they can become very anxious and constantly seem on edge. This is particularly noticeable when something triggers memories of the experience. They may become so anxious and fearful that they do not want to step out of their home and participate in many of the activities and interests that they once loved.
Following an attack, many victims experience extreme feelings of guilt. In addition, they begin to develop very negative feelings about themselves and their body. While negative comments about oneself are common for many women, if these comments are unusual or out of the ordinary for an individual, they may be in need of additional support and help.
Physical Health Declining
While any type of abuse can have a significant effect on an adult’s mental health, it also impacts their physical well-being as well. Following an attack, there are many physical signs that medical and professional help may be needed. These include:
• Sudden weight gain
• Lack of appetite and drastic weight loss
• Poor sleep quality and difficulty falling asleep
• Bruises, scratches, cuts that are unexplained
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Following any type of abuse, the victims typically want to erase the memories from their mind and numb the pain. It is common for many to turn to substances such as drugs and alcohol as that vice they need. Unfortunately, these substances are not a solution to the problem and can create greater and more complex mental and physical problems as well.
Keep in mind that all of these behaviors can be exhibited when an individual is under extreme stress in their life. Talk to your friend, family member, or roommate and provide that support and encouragement they need to come forward and receive professional help or medical attention. Furthermore, know what resources are available to help victims such as hotlines and online chat. These resources provide full privacy and can be invaluable for those who are struggling.