How to be a rape survivor and not a victim

amnesia. Anything, just to get rid of this, these thoughts, whispers in my mind. Did he rape my head, too?”  – Laurie Halse Anderson

Any woman who had been raped suffers the post rape trauma which may require months or years of counselling to heal. Apart from the pain and fear, which are the major post rape problems, she has to overcome a wide array of reactions such as insomnia, low self-esteem, serious mood swings, eating disorders, etc. She feels ashamed of herself and starts blaming God and her life for such a horrific and traumatic incident. The feeling of being dirty and a sense of being ruined weighs her down and prevents her from being positive and confident. The impact of rape is so devastating and traumatic that it completely changes the life of the rape survivor. However, overcoming the rape trauma is possible. If you had been a victim of rape, don’t feel that you are alone or that your life is ruined. Here, are the effective steps that would help you to recover from the trauma and regain the control over your life.Speak Up and Share Your Feelings: 

Image of compassionate psychiatrist comforting her crying patient

Women usually keep their feelings bottled up inside and when it comes to a rape victim it is way too difficult for her to talk about all that had happened. The process reminds her of the traumatic incident she wants to forget. However, it is very important for you to speak your heart out and share it with your loved ones. If you don’t, the pain and fear will aggravate and create obstacles to the healing process. So, vent those bottled feelings! Be Courageous: This is the time to get back your courage and meet people rather than staying home and avoiding people and situations. You have to face your fears which is the only way out to overcome the trauma and to seek happiness. Don’t Blame Yourself: The continuous process of self-blame won’t help you at all. At some point, you may start blaming yourself. You may try to accuse yourself for wearing that outfit or for taking that route or for not being cautious. But stop doing that! This guilt process will prove very destructive and will have a great impact on your self-esteem. The rapist should be ashamed and not you. Keep Reminding Yourself that You Are Not Alone: Always remember that you are not alone. One out of every six women has been the victim of rape and all feelings including depression, fear and guilt are normal. It is not your fault, so stop isolating yourself.

Feel Blessed That You Survived: You have to think positive after such a horrible incident. Thank God and your destiny that you survived the sexual assault. Now being a survivor, make sure you live a balanced life in order to overcome the painful incident. You are a survivor and you deserve respect for that! Start Rebuilding Your Trust in Others: Being a rape victim, it is very difficult to rebuild trust in others as the mishap had shattered your sense of trust, but gradually start rebuilding it. Assure yourself that you will be safe. Last, but certainly not the least, rape is not the end of your life. Recovery from rape is possible. It only takes time and effort to get over it and restore a happy life. You are a survivor, not a victim!      


About the Author: The article has been contributed by our intern, Jaideep Singh. He started writing as a hobby but soon he realized that he wanted to do it for a living. Now he works as a professional writer and often takes time out to express his views and opinion on grave issues.

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