Destination Hope Blog » Overcoming the Trauma of Sexual Abuse

Overcoming the Trauma of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse and the trauma it can cause may leave a woman feeling out of control, angry, frustrated, depressed, or anxious about the future.  Unfortunately, sexual abuse is alarmingly common; more than 200,000 cases are reported each year in the United States, with the majority of incidents going unreported out of fear, shame, or guilt.  It is normal for a victim to feel angry, frightened, or guilty after sexual abuse, and the psychological impact of abuse can linger for days, weeks, months, and even years, preventing a woman from recovering and achieving success in her life.  Treatment for trauma caused by sexual abuse and violence can help a woman overcome the psychological impact of the trauma, regain control of her life, and give her the opportunity to live a happy, healthy life.

How to Overcome Sexual Abuse Trauma

The damage from abuse, especially sexual abuse, whether it happened in a person’s childhood, or as an adult, can live on long after the event is over. Time alone is usually not enough to recover from the damage caused by this kind of experience. The first step in healing is finding safety with a trusted and nonjudgmental family member, friend, or therapist and telling that person about what happened.  Relieving the burden of the secret to someone else helps open the door to recovery.

You may not wish to report the crime to authorities, especially if the perpetrator is a loved one.  As an adult over 18 years old, that is your choice to make; however, many women find reporting the crime to be soothing for their recovery and a way for them to retake control of their life.  Reporting a sexual abuse crime can help prevent others from being harmed, even if the assault occurred long ago and the legal statute of limitations is over.  Reporting the sexual abuse may bring other victims forward and help them to seek treatment and find a path to recovery.

The trauma caused by sexual abuse often results in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition is characterized by mood swings, low self-esteem, self-injury, attacks of rage and misdirected anger, and feelings of hopelessness. Learning about PTSD and its symptoms can make managing the disorder easier and promotes healing. Treatment for PTSD involves individual and group talk therapy.

Healing from sexual abuse is not something that can happen overnight, but many women find treatment to be successful at helping them overcome their trauma and, in the long run, live a healthier life.  Learning to be patient with yourself and giving yourself time is vital for recovery from trauma. Recovery will happen with proper professional help and attention. If you or someone you love is a victim of sexual abuse or other trauma, please call us today.  We have a women’s program designed to treat the unique needs of women during recovery and help women resolve the mental health issues resulting from trauma and sexual abuse.  Destination Hope: The Women’s Program is a full service alcohol abuse, drug addiction, and women’s health treatment facility in Florida for women who suffer from substance abuse and mental health disorders.