Social Impacts and Effects

Impacts and Effects of Sexual Assault

Social Impacts and Effects of Sexual Assault

Canberra Rape Crisis Centre

You may have experienced a range of social impacts as a result of your experience of sexual assault. Like many survivors, you may have known the person or people who sexually assaulted you, and after disclosure, others around you may have rallied around you in support or alternatively responded with disbelief or had other negative responses. If the perpetrator was a family member or relative, you may find that you have disconnected with or have less frequent contact with other members of the family and there may also be challenges around family gatherings, such as birthdays, Christmases, weddings, marriages and funerals.


If the perpetrator was a partner, you may find there have been some friends who you cannot speak with any more because of their continuing association with the perpetrator. Some of the psychological and emotional impacts may affect how comfortable you feel in social situations.


There may also be occasions where you have to consider who to trust with knowledge of your experiences and depending on how the disclosures were made, there may be some people at school, within your family, family friends, colleagues at work or people within your community who you did not want to know, but who have found out inadvertently, perhaps by someone sharing the information without first asking you for permission. All of these social impacts may have put strain on your relationships and also have emotional and psychological impacts.


Trying to manage the multi-faceted social impacts can be difficult and exhausting. Nobody should have to deal with the social or any other impacts of sexual assault alone. If you are experiencing any of the social impacts resulting from the experience of trauma, please speak with your counsellor about it and if you are not receiving counselling, we encourage you to speak with some people you trust, or consider contacting CRCC on 02 6247 2525 for crisis support or to access counselling.