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How can sexual violence affect me?

No one knows exactly how you will react to a sexual assault. Here are a few examples of feelings you might feel:

  • Shock or disbelief
  • Unsafe
  • Like you’ve lost control
  • Shame
  • Angry
  • Fear
  • Alone or depressed

It is not uncommon to have trouble sleeping at night or having nightmares. You may also experience “flashbacks” (seeing parts of the assault in your mind). All of these experiences are considered normal. Our counsellors can provide you with a safe and respectful space to work through your recovery at your own pace and in your own way.


If you’ve been sexually assaulted –some options to consider:

1. Are you currently in a safe place?

a. This can be your home, your friend’s home, the hospital or even a police station.

2. Consider reaching out for support.

a. You might choose to tell someone you trust, such as a close friend or relative

b. You might choose to call the Carleton Sexual Assault Support Centre at 613.520.5622 or one of our campus or community resources. [click here]

c. You might choose to contact the Department of University Safety at 613‐520‐3612 or for Emergencies 613-520-4444 (Extension 4444 from any campus phone)

d. You might choose to contact the police at 911 or the Sexual Assault Child Abuse Unit at 613-236-1222.

3. Consider seeking medical attention.

a. To address any injuries you may have incurred (you may not see or feel all possible injuries).

b. To prevent sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy.

c. To collect evidence (even if you don’t want to press charges or place a report – this allows you the option in the future).

4. In order for a criminal investigation to take place, you must tell the police that you have been sexually assaulted. A medical examination may be done as soon as possible after the assault (tests for date rape drugs must be given within 72 hours after ingestion). Sometimes the people you turn to will not understand. There are others who will. Remember — you are not alone and you are not to blame.