Another part of rape escape is for a victim to become a survivor, escaping from the lingering effects of a foul crime, regaining control of her life and thriving stronger than ever.
She parked on the empty edge of the Oklahoma City mall parking lot so her new car wouldn’t get scratched. She didn’t expect a predator to be waiting in the dark. After he raped her, he told her it was her fault for stupidly parking in the dark. His words haunted her. See Rape Victims' Self-Blame: how to redirect it.
Trauma caused by hostile intent rather than by accident or natural causes exacerbates the anguish by adding the memory of a willful infliction of injury upon the survivor. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), when memories of traumatic events become stored in the part of the brain that controls "fight-or-flight" responses, causes sufferers to relive the event as if it is actually happening rather than being only a painful memory.
PTSD may cause emotional blunting, behavioral problems, and suicidal tendencies. In addition, rape survivors may experience social withdrawal and exceptional difficulty with intimacy. All rape survivors should call the local rape crisis center for help – or the resources listed in the Recap.Almost all rape survivors feel in some way that it's their fault. Making it worse are the negative reactions from friends and family:
• Blaming her,
• Questioning her actions before or during the assault,
• Telling her to “get over it,”
• Ignoring her statements,
• Criticizing how she is coping.
The best thing you can do is support her in her decisions, and let her tell you what and when she wants.
• Be supportive.
• Listen without judgment.
• Stay calm.
• Don't pressure her: let her talk when she is ready.
• Seek medical care: she shouldn’t eat, shower, or change clothes before going to the hospital.
• Suggest therapy: rape crisis centers offer support.
• Call the police: most rapes go unreported. Reporting can be healing.
• Know your own limits: you also may need support. Call the rape crisis center to discuss your own concerns.
He’ll also feel guilt and blame himself for allowing such an atrocity to happen to his loved one. He’ll feel that it'd been his duty to protect her and he'd failed her. If her life is turned upside down, then his will be too.
The experience of being a rape survivor has the power to make you stronger than ever – if you let it.The rape survivor nervously told a Long Island NY courtroom how her life had changed since she’d attended a party hosted by Karl Muench – who she’d thought was such a nice guy. The insomnia, the nightmares, her social life, her romantic relationships, her inability to be intimate – all had crumbled.
With her hands now shaking as much as her voice, she noticed Muench smirking at her, and her frailty suddenly evaporated. A dam burst and she raged directly at him, “You’re sick and evil and are going to jail. And I'm not going to let you ruin my life.”
Nothing can ever erase the fact that a foul crime did indeed occur. Nevertheless, your attitude regarding that reality can change – enormously. An excellent means for a rape survivor to regain control of her life, and to heal, is to thoroughly learn self-defense. Time and again, rape survivors consider it a profoundly empowering experience. See Choosing a Self Defense Class.