Understanding the effects of sexual assault in Pennsylvania

Sexual attacks can have many emotional, mental and physical effects on victims. These effects are individualistic and may have therapies available.

For victims of sexual assault, the trauma does not always end after the violence has subsided. Assault victims in often suffer from various emotional, psychological and physical repercussions of the initial attack. Not only can the aftermath of a sexual attack affect a victim’s ability to live a normal life, post-attack trauma can make it difficult for people to maintain healthy relationships. In some cases, the trauma from experiencing sexual abuse can be managed, and people can begin to heal. Studies have found that a person’s ability to heal after a sex crime depends on the characteristics of the attack, environmental conditions and the amount of social support surrounding the victim, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime.

Psychological effects of sexual assault

Survivors of a sexual assault may experience feelings of depression and anxiety. It isn’t uncommon for victims of sex crimes to feel hopeless, sad and unhappy with their lives. People with depression may avoid participating in social activities that they once enjoyed. Severe emotional trauma may cause a victim to hurt themselves by cutting, burning or starving themselves, according to the National Center for Victims of Crime. Child victims of sexual violence may grow to develop serious mental health problems later in life, such as eating disorders, drug or alcohol addiction, sexual promiscuity, PTSD and depression. The Rape Abuse & Incest National Network reported that these children are more likely to practice suicidal behaviors as they grow older as well.

Understanding posttraumatic stress disorder

Although posttraumatic stress disorder was first used to diagnose military veterans of war, it has also been used to diagnose people who have survived traumatic experiences. Signs of PTSD include trouble sleeping, severe nightmares, flashbacks to the traumatic event, extreme anxiety and outbursts of anger. People with PTSD often have difficulties performing daily tasks, maintaining relationships and finding employment.

Physical consequences of a sexual attack

In addition to bruises, lacerations and other physical signs of sexual abuse, victims may get sexually transmitted infections from their assailants. An STI can be either viral or bacterial, such as genital herpes, HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, HPV and gonorrhea. The victim might notice bumps or sores around the genital area, unusual discharge, pain during urination, pain in the lower abdomen and sore lymph nodes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Victims of sexual assaults who are unsure of whether they have acquired an STI may want to be evaluated by a physician.

Taking legal action

Some assault victims avoid taking legal action out of fear of the unknown. Bringing the case to light, however, may actually help a victim find closure and assist with the healing process. Holding a perpetrator responsible for their criminal actions may also save another person from a sexual attack in the future. An established attorney may give you the support and legal representation you need to ensure justice is served.

Verdicts and Settlements

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S. W.

Ben and Nate took their time in handling my case with compassion and care. I never had to wonder what was going on. They always made sure to include me in each and every decision that needed to be made before they were made. Their entire staff was always very polite and knowledgeable. I cannot say enough kind words about Andreozzi + Foote; they are simply the best!

V. B.

One of the best personal injury lawyers in the country. Great experience. Really genuine people at Andreozzi and Associates.

B. E.

Handled our case SO well even though it took a long time to settle, and STILL helps us with paperwork related to the settlement account every now and then. They were honest with us from the get-go, worked REALLY hard on our behalf, and always kept in touch with us about what was going on. So pleased.

S. G.

When you and your child are victims of a horrid crime it’s hard to understand why things are the way they are. Information and answers are what you want, but unfortunately the system doesn’t offer that. Nathaniel has fielded and patiently listened to a broken mother wanting nothing more than for someone to help her understand why she has no answers, and through these phone calls Nathaniel has been very informative, honest and upfront. I would recommend Nathaniel and this firm to anyone who is seeking answers, help and professionalism in a firm when going through such difficult times.

S. L.

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L. A.

It is impossible to put into words our gratitude for Ben and Nate through the most trying time of our life. As scared, confused, and traumatized parents, the isolation and loneliness of litigation are abysmal. In the beginning, everyone surrounding you has endless bright ideas and can’t say enough how you should pursue action, but then when it comes down to it, these cheerleaders are suddenly silent and nowhere to be found in what feels to be your darkest hour. Thank God we had these two extraordinary men at our side from the moment we contacted them. Their friendship, counsel, and sound resolve to do everything they could in order to balance the scorecard meant more than we can ever convey, and is simply immeasurable. If we had known how simple this seemingly horrific ordeal would’ve been with their help from the start, we wouldn’t have agonized a single minute over doing what we did. If you are in a similar position as I’ve described, take advice from someone who’s been through the worst, thankfully with the best. Call them!

E.K.

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