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Signs and Symptoms of Victimization

Recognizing Signs and Changes in Victims of Victimization

Possible Emotional Responses and Symptoms
Most victims will not experience all of these symptoms but they are important to keep in mind.
★ Feeling dirty
★ Anxiety
★ Shock/numbness
★ Embarrassment
★ Feeling of loss of control over one’s life
★ Relief
★ Fear
★ Grief

★ Depression
★ Loss of trust
★ Anger
★ Irritability
★ Suicidal thoughts
★ Denial
★ Preoccupation with safety
★ Guilt or self-­‐blame
★ Shame
★ Apprehension
★ Guilt or self-­‐blame
★ Shame
★ Apprehension
★ Indecision
★ Feeling stuck
★ Changes in perception of the world
★ Crying or inability to cry
★ Insomnia

Some of the victims may develop PTSD
✴ Intrusive flashbacks, dreams, dwelling on the
assault
✴ Persistent or intense distress, anxiety, panic
attacks, stress, sleep disturbance, irritability, fear,
including anger, apprehension, indecision, difficulty in concentrating, being easily startled, heightened awareness, and sensitivity
✴ Feelings of detachment, feeling like they are
different people now
✴ Persistent avoidance of people, places, things
associated with the assault
✴ Ambivalence or uncertainty about the future
✴ Avoidance of normal daily activity
✴ Reliving the event as if it were still occurring

Possible Physical Responses and Symptoms
It’s very unlikely that you’ll know about a student or victim’s physical symptoms, however, it’s important to be aware of them just in case they do become evident.
✴ Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
✴ Muscle tension
✴ Pain and visible injury
✴ Shortness of breath
✴ Gynecological disturbances
✴ Fatigue
✴ Flashbacks
✴ Involuntary shaking
✴ Sexual dysfunction
✴ Increased possibility of alcohol and drug abuse

Credit: *“After Sexual Assault: A recovery guide for survivors”. Safe
Horizon.<www.safehorizon.org/files/After_Sexual_Assault_Bklt.pdf

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