Have you experienced:
- Being physically forced to preform a sexual act
- Said “no” or asked to stop once you had given your consent for sex but the perpetrator continued against your wishes
- Been pressured, manipulated or blackmailed into sexual acts
- Been made to feel that you had no choice but to perform a sexual act such as genital touching, oral sex, or penetration
- Had unwanted and unprovoked sexual advances made towards you even after you expressed your lack of interest and desire for the behavior to end
- Been in a situation where you were unable to give verbal consent for sexual acts, such as being unconscious, below the legal age of consent, intoxicated, or drugged
Sexual assault occurs on a spectrum spanning a wide range of sexual contacts including childhood sexual abuse, rape, attempted rape incest, exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, inappropriate sexual touching, and sexual harassment. While sexual assault takes many forms the root cause remains the same: the survivor experiences a loss of power and control from any form of sexual assault.
While many Americans feel that sexual assault occurs only in dark alleys where a stranger physically assaults their victim forcing sexual acts, this is very rarely the case. Most sexual assault survivors know their assailant and even have a friendly relationship with them. Every situation where sexual violence occurs is different, however each instance has a common thread: the perpetrator seeks power over their victim. Usually this need for power outweighs the desire for sex, meaning that sexual assault is more about obtaining control than about desire or unrequited attraction.
After a sexual assault many victims feel ashamed and humiliated. While they know that what happened was unwanted and not their fault, the need to establish control over their circumstances often leads them to seek out ways of viewing the situation as their fault. This provides a sense of security in that if they never, fill in the blank, this will never happen again. Unfortunately, these beliefs are untrue. Your actions had nothing to do with the actions of the perpetrator. They made the decision to take away your choices and control. While we many know this in our heads, feeling it in our hearts can be a painful and complicated process.
Working with a trained therapist at Noyau Wellness Center, you can begin to take back your control. Processing the hurt that you have been forced to experience and moving past that event so that it no longer commands so much of who you are is a goal many sexual assault survivors have during therapy. Through an open and trusting relationship with your therapist, we hope to help you move from surviving to thriving so that you can celebrate every aspect of you.