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Sexual Assault: Understanding the Complications and Implications

— March 12, 2020

Sexual assault is a traumatic event, and therefore, knowing how to act in the event of this will help you deal with it to protect your rights.

Do you suspect that you have been sexually assaulted, and you don’t know what to do? You are not alone! Sadly, many people don’t understand what entails sexual assault, its complications, and implications. In this regard, this article will help enlighten you on sexual assaults and assist you in understanding the difficulties and consequences associated with the experience. Subsequently, we will tell you what to do in case you have experienced any form of sexual assault.

Types of sexual assaults

To start with, sexual assault refers to any form of sexual activity, contact or non-contact, without consent. In other words, has someone attempted to rape or raped you, touched you inappropriately, or coerced you to sex? Then, that is contact sexual assault! Non-contact sexual harassment can be in the form of verbal or visual aspects, like someone sending you unwanted text messages or pictures and sexual threats, among others. There are many forms of sexual assault, and this sexual harassment guide can help you identify if what you have experienced falls in the category.

Complications and Implication of Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a traumatic event, and as a victim, you may find it hard to handle. Let us look at the complications and implications of sexual assault:

Health Effects

Your physical health could be affected in case of sexual assault. For instance, rape could result in vaginal bleeding and soreness. You may be at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, and plus you could get unwanted pregnancy. Further, infertility and sexual dysfunctions are also a possibility after the incident. 

Effect on your Mind

Due to emotional distress associated with assault, your mental health can be affected, resulting in post-traumatic stress disorder, which is characterized by anxiety, nightmares, and flashbacks. Also, depression could occur where you may feel sad and hopeless. You may get disinterested in the activities you used to like. Also, suicidal thoughts may come up as a result of hopelessness.

A sexual assault will likely take a toll on you emotionally. You may develop a lot of fear, anger towards others, guilt, and lack of trust. Also, you may feel disoriented as a result of disbelief and denial.

Woman sleeping in bed with all brown linens; image by Gregory Pappas, via
Woman sleeping in bed with all brown linens; image by Gregory Pappas, via

What you should do in case of sexual assault

Ensure you are Safe

The first thing you ought to do is to ensure you are safe. Yes, in case you feel insecure, reach out to someone who can support you without judging you. They can help you contact the police, file a report, and take you for a medical checkup within 72 hours of the incident. Doing this on your own could be hard, therefore try to get support if you can.

Seek Medical Care

Even with no physical injuries, seek medical care within 72 hours after the incident. You need to let the medics examine you to ascertain that you are okay. Also, this can help you in case you want to sue the perpetrator of sexual assault, as the medical report will act as evidence. At the hospital, you will get medication to calm you down, prevent infections, and also get a chance to talk to a therapist who, together with people who will help you accept the situation and heal over time.

File a Sexual Assault Claim

Some victims fail to file a claim for fear of facing the perpetrator in court or any form of retaliation. But, for your good and for the sake of eliminating such people in society, you should get an experienced lawyer for legal help. This guide compiled by an Anchorage assault attorney will help you understand how filing a claim can aid you to get justice and reduce the pain. Seeing the perpetrator pay for their evil will help in your recovery. 


Sexual assault is a traumatic event, and therefore, knowing how to act in the event of this will help you deal with it to protect your rights. This will reduce the negative implication which could affect your life for long after. Remember, getting medical and legal help is the first step towards recovery from the incident.

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