It is best to stay away from drugs and alcohol during your recovery as these substances only intensify your reactions, can cause problems of their own and can interfere with the healing process.
One of the most important things for survivors of sexual assault is knowing that they are not alone and that there is help available.
You can seek medical attention any time after the assault but there are good reasons to seek medical attention immediately.
There are treatments that can help prevent things such as pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections but they are only effective if treatment is started soon after the assault. You may have a sexual assault examination and collection of evidence up to 72-120 hours after an assault, depending on the local policy.
You may feel that too much information and your own emotions are overwhelming you and that you are unable to process all that is occurring.
All of these reactions are normal following a sexual assault, but they are new to you. We know that you may not remember much of what you are told by those people who truly want to help you through this difficult time.
Fact: No other crime victim is looked upon with the same degree of suspicion and doubt as a victim of sexual assault.
If you decide to report the incident to police this record will be valuable for the investigation and could also be used as evidence in court.
Even if you don't think you will report the assault to the police it is a good idea to do this if you can.
You may find it hard to get out of bed, leave the house, carry on with normal day-to-day activities or go to work.
Some survivors try to cope by drinking, using drugs or overusing prescription medications.