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Definition of Sexual Assault

The phrase “sexual assault” covers more than rape; any form of non-consensual sexual contact legally counts as sexual assault. “Sexual contact” means intentionally touching any area of another person’s body that is considered sexual in our culture, for the purposes of gratifying the person doing the touching or humiliating the person being touched.

Psychological Effects of Sexual Assault

Because sexual assault is so broadly defined, the effects it has on victims can vary widely. Some victims sustain physical injuries that can range from relative minor to severe, or even disabling. But even if a person is not physically injured by sexual assault (perhaps they were “only” groped, for example), the emotional effects of being attacked in this way can be serious and long lasting.

In the short term, a sexual assault victim may feel one or more of the following:

  • Furious
  • Humiliated
  • Powerless
  • Hurt

Sometimes these emotions fade with time, if the victim receives adequate support and is able to move past the incident. However, many people who have been sexually assaulted experience emotional difficulties for some time after the event, perhaps even chronically. Sometimes these difficulties require the victim to seek out therapy or another form of treatment.

Long term effects of being assaulted can include:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Nightmares and/or flashbacks
  • Hyper-vigilance (an inability to relax or sleep well)
  • Difficulty forming trusting relationships
  • Difficulty expressing emotion
  • Depression

If you or a loved one is suffering from the psychological consequences of being assaulted, you can regain the money lost to treatment and receive compensation for your emotional suffering. For more information, contact the Green Bay sexual assault lawsuit attorneys Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at 920-437-0900.