I felt violated, but I don't know if what happened was a sexual violation. Can I get counseling?

Absolutely! It is very common for survivors to not fully be able to understand what happened to them or how they feel about it, especially if it doesn't match up with the concept they had in their head about what would or would not be a violation.

Often it is hard for people to understand that physical violence is not always used in sexual assaults. The assault itself is still considered an act of violence.

It is important to understand that any sort of unwanted sexual encounters or unwanted sexualized actions taken towards you are sexual violations.

  • Fear and overwhelming emotions occur as a result of having someone control your body.
  • The offender may actually act affectionately once the victim is sufficiently under their control and may force the victim to speak and act affectionately towards them.
  • During incidents of sexual violation, victims may feel that their body has betrayed them-their reactions to the abuse seem to contradict what they actually want. These events may make the survivor question whether an assault really happened.

Sexual assaults and violations, whether you experienced them as a child or as an adult, are often life threatening experiences. No matter how you reacted to the violation, it was the right thing to do. No matter how you survived, it was the right thing to do. Sometimes this is hard for survivors to believe and it will be an important issue to address in counseling.

Counseling is a safe and helpful way to explore your feelings and reactions about the particular sexual violations you have experienced.