The benefits of counseling
Talking with a trusted friend or seeking counseling from a professional who is experienced with treating survivors of sexual assault is one of the best things you can do in the aftermath of a sexual assault. The trauma of assault can be long-lasting and pervasive. While everyone's response to a sexual assault is different, many victims experience fear, insomnia, a sense of powerlessness, and depressed mood. Research supports that the sooner a victim of sexual assault seeks professional help, the less likely severe psychological problems and symptoms will persist. The sooner you talk to someone about what has happened to you, the sooner the healing process can begin.
Many survivors of sexual assault initially do not want to talk about it. They may fear retaliation from the perpetrator, feel ashamed or responsible for what happened, think nobody will take them seriously, or believe that by not talking about it, they can put the "put the whole thing behind them." Although silence deepens the victim's isolation and may make the physical and psychological reactions worse, each survivor is the best judge of when it's OK to talk and how much to say. There's no statute of limitations on seeking counseling. So if a week, a month, or even a year has passed since the attack – it's not too late to get counseling.
Counseling can be empowering. You can work through your feelings, discuss ways to feel safe again, and consider legal options. Seeking counseling does not obligate you to report the crime or to press charges, but a counselor can advise you regarding how to leave those options open.
In the words of one survivor: "The counseling I got at the rape treatment center gave me the key I needed to reclaim my life."
For counseling, call:
Services provided are confidential and provided by trained mental health providers.
Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., 216-368-5872
After 5:00 pm. weekdays & holidays, 216-844-8892
Ask to speak to the counselor on call or visit http://studentaffairs.case.edu/counseling
The Flora Stone Mather Center for Women at Case
Monday-Friday, 8:30-5:00 p.m., 216-368-0985
Wade Resource Center: By appointment at 216-368-6858
The Women's Health Advocate is a confidential university resource available for one-on-one consultations. She will encourage you to discuss your feelings, help you understand how to cope with what has happened, and work with you to determine what you want to do next.
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
216-619-6192, 24 hours, a day, 7 days a week.