Sexual assault is defined as any sexual activity between two or more people that has at least one person being forced against his or her will. This type of trauma includes a wide range of sexual behaviors that involve a predator (man, woman, older children) and the victim. The abuser doesn’t have any regard for the safety of the victim. If they do feel concern, their own desires override the choices and/or naivety of the victim. Often this involves physical contact such as kissing, sex (oral, anal, and vaginal), penetration with an object, and the touching or grabbing of erogenous zones, or non-erogenous zones with the intent of arousal (victim or predator).
However, not all abuse involves physical contact. Other types include the showing of private parts (flashing), exposure to pornographic images, verbal pressure for sex, and exploitation in pornographic pictures, movies, and prostitution. All cases involving children and adolescents are not considered consensual.
Sexual trauma has a way of stripping the survivor. They often feel out of control, are unable to connect with others, and blame them self for the incident(s). Sometimes physical symptoms arise, such as the inability to be physically intimate, panic with any kind of physical touch, and bed wetting (especially in child abuse cases). Given the difference in the societal standards of gender roles, symptoms following trauma often look different in men than they do in women.
I believe that recovery from sexual trauma begins with empowerment. We will study the physiological and biological process involved in this type of trauma, and deal with any shame/guilt that may have developed. We will work to understand, and extract meaning from the event. Depending on your individual needs, we can find ways to connect with people, repair damaged relationships, regain real intimacy, and generally move through the world without constantly reliving the traumatic event. You will go from a victim who survives, to a survivor who thrives.