Sexual assault is a traumatic event that may cause people to experience a range of reactions. These reactions are normal responses to trauma, and experiencing reactions to trauma does not mean that someone is “weak” or less of a Marine. Recognizing responses to trauma may help you or someone you know to be prepared to handle them or find the right resources to help. Everyone reacts to trauma differently; someone may experience all, some, or none of these reactions.
Common Reactions to Trauma
Reactions to trauma can last for several days, weeks, or longer. Those who have been impacted by trauma are encouraged to rely on family members, friends, or other trusted people for support. SAPR victim advocates (VA) and sexual assault response coordinators (SARC) are also available to support, including making referrals to a variety of counseling services that can help with moving forward.
Be patient: Recovery Is Hard Work
The path to healing varies from person to person and it's not always a steady process. It is normal to experience ups and downs. If you experienced a sexual assault, be patient, set a pace that's right for you. Remember, it’s ok to ask for help.
To learn more about the SAPR program or the resources available, visit the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response page.
You may have a friend, loved one, or family member who was sexually assaulted. They may be struggling to get through this tragic event and reach out to you for help. Consider these "Do’s" and "Don'ts" when offering support.
People who are sexually assaulted are never alone – no matter when or where assistance is needed. Marines and their families have immediate access to resources and referrals by calling their installation’s 24/7 Sexual Assault Support Line.