I Want Help Coping with the Experience

There is no “right” or “normal” way to feel after experiencing sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. Some people respond with feelings of anger, sadness, numbness; some people do not feel different at all, or some people move through different emotions. There are some common reactions survivors have reported feeling:

Emotional Reactions

  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Embarrassment
  • Fear, distrust
  • Sadness
  • Vulnerability
  • Isolation
  • Lack of control
  • Anger
  • Numbness
  • Confusion
  • Shock, disbelief
  • Denial

Psychological reactions

  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use or abuse
  • Phobias
  • Low self esteem

Physical reactions

  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Increased startle response
  • Concerns about physical safety
  • Physical injury
  • Concerns about pregnancy or contracting an STI or HIV

Trained advocates and the Wellness Center counseling staff are available to help process your feelings and experiences.


Trained advocates have received specialized training in sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking. They can answer any questions that you may have, including: how to report an incident of violence, what resources exist on- and off-campus, what Loyola's conduct process looks like, how to safety plan, and more. Advocates do not offer long-term counseling. To get connected with advocacy services, please call The Line at 773-494-3810.


The Wellness Center counseling staff can also provide brief individual therapy or group counseling for sexual assault survivors. To make a counseling appointment, please call 773-508-8883 or make an appointment online.

The Wellness Center provides brief individual psychotherapy.  Students who are seeking longer term therapy, or whose counselor determines would benefit from longer term therapy, will be provided with referrals to providers in the community. There is no session limit for the variety of group therapy offerings.

All Wellness Center services for survivors of sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking are free.