Rape is a reality of life. It is not a good reality but it is a reality of life, and a certain amount of people experience and suffer rape (sex without permission, sex against permission); perhaps you said “No” and someone hasn’t listened to you.
And rape is always an act of violence as it is non-consensual sex.
Rape is often a very hard thing for you to cope with on your own. But you shouldn’t have to. You can reach out to professionals who offer rape counselling.
We are trained in counselling, sex therapy, or trauma intervention. And you may access those people in many different ways – through a hospital, through a clinic, in a private practice or through your GP.
There is a tendency with rape for many people to go inside and withdraw from contact with others and the world.
You may become afraid of people in general. This is particularly true if you have been raped by someone you knew or who was member of your family because you suffer a double betrayal: violation by another human being and the violation of trust you may have had with the person you had a relationship with.
It is important to seek medical help after rape in case you may have contracted an infection from the rapist. If you were physically torn or injured, seeking medical help is also essential. While it is mostly women who are raped, men are also raped anally.
What to do after rape:
- Make yourself safe. Remove yourself away from being attacked by your rapist again. Do whatever you have to do to make this happen.
- Seek help from someone you can trust or call the emergency services, police, and ambulance.
- Visit a medical professional and get medical attention.
- Try to remember everything you can about your attacker and write that information down or draw a picture of them. Give that information to the police.
- Get emergency rape counselling from a professional or rape helpline.
- Take time start recovering from the situation.
- Decide if you want to prosecute. Remember, if you do want to prosecute, do not take a shower before you have been physically examined, as a rape kit may be able to record any physical traces of your attacker.
- Consider ongoing into therapy to come to terms with what has happened.
If you have experienced rape, don’t keep it inside; don’t suffer on your own.
Sometimes, you don’t prosecute because the ramifications of that are too much and sometimes you decide to prosecute. The choice must always be yours.
In some countries it may be too difficult to prosecute and you may even stand the chance of being punished, even though you were the victim.
Whatever you decide in this regard, seek out and get help with some rape counselling and post rape counselling.
And even though what has happened to you was wrong, you can recover with the right help.
As a therapist and sexologist I have helped many victims of rape over the years. You can telephone our clinic for an appointment or if you are in a remote location we will help you via a Skype appointment so you do not have to travel.
Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, BHSc, ND, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist. Counsellor, PACFA registered Mental Health Professional and Naturopath In Sydney. You can get help by booking an appointment with her at Australian Health & Education Centre.