It does not matter how long ago you were raped, sexually abused or sexually assaulted. We're here for you regardless of 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 and a number of these can last an extended time.
For example, you might:
- Have depression, anxiety, panic attacks or phobias.
- Feel angry, ashamed, sad, worthless or scared.
- Cry often, 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 excessively.
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 require support around sexual violence that happened a while ago. Some people go years or maybe decades before they talk about it.
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.