If you have been assaulted or raped, it’s important to remember that what you are feeling, thinking, and experiencing is a normal reaction to trauma. And, no matter how difficult life may feel right now, there is hope.

You can regain your sense of safety. You can learn to trust again. And most importantly you can heal and move on with your life.

Being violated in some way—either through rape, sexual assault, or sexual abuse—can leave you feeling shocked, scared, and uncertain of what to do next. Assuming that the incident happened recently, the first step is to make sure you are safe. Depending on where you are, you might want to go to a friend’s house or find someone who can help you like at a hospital.