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What are common reactions of survivors?

It is normal for survivors to experience a range of feelings after a sexual assault, and all survivors will react to the incident in their own way. One survivor may feel intense anger and even have feelings of revenge, while another may feel numb. Below are some of the common types of reactions survivors might have:


  • Disbelief, numbness, or shock
  • Shame, guilt, or self-blame
  • Anxiety, depression, or anger
  • Confusion or helplessness
  • Fear or lack of safety
  • Difficulty concentrating


  • Appetite changes
  • Sleeping pattern changes
  • Aches and pains in the body

As a friend, you may notice:

  • Moodiness
  • Acting secretively
  • Isolating her/himself
  • Missing classes or appointments
  • Using alcohol or drugs as a way to