Have you been affected by sexual abuse yourself or do you know someone who has? Here you can find out what help is available for sexual violence.
Talking about sexual abuse is not easy. A relationship of trust has been abused and this is inevitably associated with stressful feelings. Maybe you feel shocked, helpless or confused? Maybe you feel ashamed or afraid? Maybe you are wondering what to do?
We are here for you!
Even if you don’t know how to express what you have experienced – don’t stay alone! If you want, you can just try talking or writing to us. You don’t have to go into a sensitive topic right away and you can see if you feel comfortable talking/writing. If you feel comfortable talking or writing about the assault you experienced, we will give you the time you need. We will not push you into anything and you can decide for yourself what you want to share. Our services are confidential and anonymous. We know that this is important for many of those affected. We can also talk to you about how you can protect yourself, where you can get help and what to do next. Have confidence – it helps if you do not remain alone with your feelings.
The staffs of counseling centers that offer help in cases of sexual violence also know that it can be difficult to talk about sexual abuse and sexual violence. It is a matter of gently offering help and agreeing with you which support you find helpful and which approach suits you best. If something is too much or too fast for you, it is also important to say so. You can always decide for yourself what you want to say to whom and when. You can get help for yourself, whether you want to report it or not.
Reporting – yes or no?
Victims of sexual abuse deal with it in very different ways. For some, it is an opportunity to end the sexual violence through the intervention of the police (e.g. by expelling or arresting the perpetrator) or to defend themselves against it. Filing a complaint also makes it possible to claim compensation for pain and suffering from the perpetrator in court proceedings. Other victims do not want to press charges. They may want to seek help for themselves first – this is also possible. A good option is to discuss the topic of “Reporting – yes or no? They can help you to weigh up this question.
Legal assistance in cases of sexual abuse
Filing a complaint and the following court proceedings can be associated with intense emotions. In order not to have to go through this time alone, you can get legal assistance to support you. A process counselor is interested in your ideas and feelings that are connected with the report and the proceedings. He/she will support you in keeping the stress to a minimum and can accompany you to all appointments as a confidant.
Help with trauma after sexual violence
Sexual violence can sometimes lead to trauma. Trauma is when an event is so stressful that it cannot be psychologically processed. The person’s own coping abilities are overwhelmed. Signs of traumatization can appear soon after a sexual assault or only after a longer period of time. Possible signs of trauma can be, for example: jumpiness, irritability, sleeps disturbances, recollection of images or scenes of the trauma situation (flashbacks), nightmares, avoidance behavior or withdrawal.
For further help and support — Speak with a licensed therapist today.