Consequences of Sexual Assault

Sexual assault and abuse are traumatic experiences, and the direct effects of sexual abuse and assault can be physical, emotional, and cognitive. These effects can also lead to long-term consequences that can affect their lives for years. However, there is hope, as sexual assault survivors may have grounds to take legal action.

Physical Consequences of Sexual Abuse

The specific physical injuries one might sustain due to sexual violence can vary depending on the nature of the abuse. Examples include:

  • Genital-anal trauma
  • Injuries associated with attempted strangulation
  • Hitting or kicking injuries
  • General body trauma
  • Sexually transmitted infections

The psychological effects of sexual assault and abuse may also result in physical injuries. For example, someone may resort to self-harm to cope in the aftermath of a traumatic event.

Psychological Consequences

The psychological effects of rape and sexual assault may include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Flashbacks
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Dissociation

Some of the psychological effects of sexual assault have physical consequences. An example would be insomnia, substance abuse, or eating disorders resulting from psychological difficulties.

Emotional Consequences

Sexual assault can lead to painful emotions, including:

  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Fear
  • Disorientation

The emotional consequences of sexual assault may vary depending on when they manifest. For example, the intense fear someone may experience during a sexual assault can give way to prolonged anxiety or other emotions in the days, weeks, and months after.

Many of the emotional responses to sexual trauma don’t “make sense.” It’s not uncommon for victims to experience shame despite having nothing to be ashamed of.

Cognitive Consequences

Someone may develop such cognition problems as the following after a sexual assault:

  • Memory issues, which could involve amnesia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Repeated, intrusive thought patterns that may interfere with normal cognition

All the consequences of sexual assault may impact and contribute to one another. For example, sexual assault may result in nightmares or insomnia. Loss of sleep can negatively affect cognition, which could, in turn, lead to accidents that result in physical injuries.

Long-Term Effects

The long-term effects of sexual assault can affect a victim’s physical and mental health and relationships. For example, a victim may naturally develop trust issues. Or, they may isolate themselves from others, perhaps due to feelings of shame.

Someone struggling with the effects of sexual assault might neglect their physical wellness. Depression and anxiety might make it hard for them to work and earn an income.

Sexual assault involves severely violating someone’s boundaries. A survivor may thus struggle with understanding how to establish healthy boundaries in the future.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Victims of Sexual Abuse?

No one can change the past. A legal professional can’t undo what has already happened to you. However, they may help you seek justice for what happened in the form of monetary compensation. By taking legal action against those responsible for the abuse, you may pursue compensation for medical bills, counseling and therapy costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

A sexual assault injuries attorney at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs can help you demand this justice. We can review your case and explain legal options, gather evidence to show why you deserve compensation, and then handle your claim on your behalf, saving you the pain and difficulty of doing so yourself. Learn more about how our Houston personal injury lawyer can help you in your healing process by contacting us online for your free case review in Houston, Texas.