Welcome to the Emerald Centre website
Rape and other forms of sexual violence can have a huge impact not only on the victim/survivor but also on their friends, family, colleagues as well as the wider community. Sexual assault is a crime and is never excusable or acceptable. No one ever deserves to be raped or sexually assaulted.
Sexual assault affects people differently and the way someone copes with their experience can be unique to them. For example people from diverse backgrounds can encounter additional difficulties, such as cultural, sexual orientation or gender related, to name but a few. Knowing the person who assaulted them and the relationship between them can often have a huge effect – although, most sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. However, there are also many common reactions shared amongst victim/survivors:
These can include a feeling of numbness, disbelief and shock. Sometimes there is a feeling that it isn’t happening to them, a sense of being detached (dissociation). There is often a period where a person will blame themselves for what has happened, feel guilty, responsible and ashamed. They may question themselves as to why they didn’t fight or scream or why they experienced sexual arousal during the assault. These are physical reactions that a person is not in control of and can result through fear. Victims may fear that they will not be believed and/or blamed. Victims will often try to analyse what happened, thinking “Why me?” or “If only…”
Sexual assault is a crime that can leave someone feeling powerless and helpless. It can evoke strong feelings of anger, sadness and distress. There can be confusing mood swings, a constant feeling of anxiousness and being ‘on edge’. Victims will often feel isolated and believe that no one understands how they feel.
These strong, confusing, and sometimes overwhelming and frightening feelings can result in relationship problems, difficulties with eating and sleeping – insomnia, nightmares, flashbacks and/or oversleeping. There can also be confusing feelings over sexuality. Fears around people finding out and their perceived reaction.
Concerns around sexual, physical health and safety can be another part of what someone has to cope with. A person’s education, employment and social life can also be affected.
Sexual assault can have a huge effect on the life of a victim and those around them.
These feelings, beliefs and concerns can often hinder a victim in seeking help. At the Emerald Centre we understand this and want to reassure you that it’s normal to feel how you do following what has happened and that we operate a confidential service which respects your choices. Not only do many victims/survivors of rape and sexual assault go on to make a full recovery from their ordeal but have also used their experience to their advantage and enjoyed more successful lives.
We believe in respecting an individual’s right to choose and feel in control of his/her recovery process.
We believe that it is important for a victim/survivor to know the options and support available to them.
We are committed to helping individuals through their experience and guiding them towards a healthy recovery.
While we strive to provide as much information s possible on this website we recognise that there are many aspects to sexual abuse that are not contained within this site. If you are unsure about anything or want more information please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will endeavor to assist you.