Flash Backs

Impacts and Effects of Sexual Assault

Flash Backs

Canberra Rape Crisis Centre

A flashback is a memory of past trauma which appears and feels as though it is currently happening.

Flashbacks affect all the senses, even making you believe you smell the same smells, and feel the same contact on your body. They can be just as terrifying and traumatic as the sexual assault.

Flashbacks are usually ‘triggered’ by stimuli similar to an occurrence in the original trauma, such as a certain smell, sound, sensation or sight that reminds you of the trauma. Flashbacks range in length and severity, with some sufferers feeling flashback is just as real as the original trauma.

Flashbacks are the minds way of trying to make sense of what has happened. Flashbacks can cause overwhelming distress to survivors, learning skills to help manage them is important for your recovery.

You can speak with a worker at the CRCC on 02 247 2525 or another professional with experience in working with survivors of trauma to assist with developing strategies to help manage flashbacks.