It happened some time ago
Were you raped, sexually abused or sexually assaulted in the past? We’re here for you no matter when it happened.
Whether you were an adult and/or a child when it happened, rape and sexual violence can have big impacts on your health, life and relationships. Some of these can last a long time.
For example, you might:
- Have depression, anxiety, panic attacks or phobias.
- Feel angry, ashamed, sad, worthless or scared.
- Cry a lot, or find it difficult to feel or show emotion.
- Suffer from disturbing and intrusive thoughts and memories.
- Have unexplained physical symptoms, including pain and illness.
- Feel like you get relief by harming yourself - maybe by cutting, burning, neglecting your needs and health, or drinking and smoking too much.
You might also find that certain things trigger vivid memories of what happened to you. You might even feel as if you are going through it again. Find out more about flashbacks and triggers.
Whether some of these things happen to you or not - or whether you live with other effects of sexual violence not listed here - your experience is real, valid and yours. There's no right or wrong way to be or feel, and you're not alone.
It's not unusual to want support around sexual violence that happened some time ago. Some people go years or even decades before they talk about it.
About three-quarters of the people who use Rape Crisis services get in touch for support around something that happened a year or more ago. Nearly half are adults who were sexual abused when they were children.
You can also find information about your local Rape Crisis Centre and how they can help you.
If you want to report to the police, you still can but it's completely up to you; no-one else should tell you what to do.