Sexual Health, Advocacy & Relationship Education

Emotional Well-being

Sexual and relationship violence are traumatic events. Losing a sense of safety and control over one's body and environment can change the way a survivor approaches every aspect of their life. Healing begins when the individual's sense of control returns, and that takes time and support. 

Everyone processes traumatic events a little differently. Common reactions include:

List of common reactions
  • Anger
  • Feeling numb
  • Crying
  • Being extremely calm
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Isolation
  • Embarrassment
  • Problems with concentration and focus
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Self-blame
  • Worrying that others will find out
  • Not wanting to talk about it
  • Not wanting to be touched
  • Not wanting to being alone

Self Care

Self care means caring for yourself as you would a good friend. It also means not doing things that harm you or make you more vulnerable. Because everyone’s reaction to sexual assault is different, there is no one way to practice self care. Planning how you will care for yourself can help if you start to feel overwhelmed. These are some things you may want to make part of your plan.

Self-Care Options
  • Write in a journal
  • Make art
  • Take a walk
  • Exercise
  • Eat your favorite food
  • Read
  • Breathe
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Wear your favorite clothes
  • Give yourself permission to feel whatever you are feeling


Advocates and counselors are good resources, and friends and family can help, but you will do most of the work of healing on your own. There are many resources available online. Here are some suggestions to start with:

Call to Safety crisis line

Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN)

Pandora's Project