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The impact of sexual violence isn’t the same for everyone.

There’s no right or wrong way to react. And trauma can go on to affect people long after it is over.

Take a look at our video to understand some of the ways that people deal with trauma and how it can affect each of us.

Sexual violence and the window of tolerance

One way of understanding the impact of trauma is with ‘the window of tolerance’. Your window of tolerance is where you feel safe and able to function. During times of stress, you can go outside your window of tolerance and if you are triggered after an event, you can experience:

  • Hyper-arousal (the fight/flight response). This is often characterised by hypervigilance, feelings of anxiety and panic, and racing thoughts.
  • Hypo-arousal (the freeze response). This may cause feelings of emotional numbness, emptiness, or paralysis.

This means that if you have experienced trauma, you might go into the fight/flight response or the freeze response in everyday life. This can lead to anxiety and dissociation.

If you need support understanding the impacts of sexual violence, call our helpline on 08088 00 00 14 or email us at: support@rapecrisiscentre-glasgow.co.uk

If you’re a teacher or youth worker and you’d like to know more about our workshop ‘Impacts of Sexual Violence’, call our centre on 0141 552 3201 and ask for the Rosey project or email us at: info@roseyproject.co.uk

If you have a physical injury, are bleeding or otherwise feel unwell after experiencing sexual violence DIAL 999 STRAIGHT AWAY and ask for help.