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Rape isn’t always by someone we don’t know, it can also be by a boyfriend or a husband. Sometimes it occurs when people have been drinking or on drugs, but if you said no or were not able to say yes, because you were too drunk or high then it is still rape. When rape has happened you may feel a big mixture of reactions like hurt, anger, fear, worry. Sometimes people who have been raped feel guilty because feel that maybe they encouraged the person to begin with, or that maybe they deserved it.
Rape can happen to women and men, young girls and boys, married, unmarried, heterosexual and gay, those who believe in a God and those who don’t.
It would be great to chat with you and help you to recover from what has happened to you, to help you find more peace and hope.
We are all more than just a physical body, we also have feelings, emotions and a spiritual side to us. We really need to think about how to help the whole of us. Here are some suggestions people have found helpful…
Talk about the rape
It is easy to feel afraid to talk about an experience as personal as this because we can be afraid we will be judged in some way by the person we are telling. It is really important to find someone to talk to but it is also really important to choose someone that can be trusted with what you are sharing. Think about who you could tell, a parent, a close friend, someone at church? If you are not sure who to talk to choose someone mature, whose opinion you value, a church pastor would be able to suggest someone if you asked who would they recommend you could speak to about something quite personal. We are also very happy to chat with you about what has happened and how to recover – with us you can be as anonymous as you want.
Some people realise that this was something done to them which they had no control over, but many people – particularly if they have been raped by someone they know, feel that they must be guilty too. If this is how you feel, then one step you need to take is to either realise that you weren’t to blame, or if that is too hard to agree with, forgive yourself for any small part you feel bad about because what ever small thing you did does not excuse the bad that was done to you. To help yourself get past this you need to choose to let go of the blame you feel.
Focus on now not before
When something bad has happened to us in the past, it is easy for our mind to keep going back there, to keep replaying the images or the feelings. It is important instead to try and focus on now, that you are safe now, that this is something that is not happening now and that you have survived and can beat these feelings. It is a good idea to decide on something that is a pleasant and nice thought and image – something that you can force into your mind instead whenever you notice your mind going back to the event. The Bible talks about taking every thought captive – the aim is to notice the replay begining as soon as possible and then force a different thought in its place.
Find a new peace
Do you believe there is a God? Have you ever spent time trying to learn about who Jesus is, what he did and why he did it?
When people believe that Jesus loves them and is interested in them it gives them a bigger picture of the world around them and it gives them a new hope in their life, a new peace and a new aim and purpose. The more you get to know Jesus the more you will know and understand how much he cares about you and wants to help you recover from this – Find out about Jesus.
Forgive the other person
When we don’t forgive someone it normally does us more harm that it does the person we are not forgiving. Even if someone has hurt us in the most horrible and cruel way, if we can let bitterness go we will feel better than if we hold on to it. Forgiving someone is not excusing the wrong they did, it is simply letting the wrong they did effect us no more. Even if people don’t deserve forgiveness or ask for forgiveness – we can still choose to forgive. If we are a Christian then we have an extra reason to forgive – God wants us to forgive other people because He has forgiven us even though we didn’t deserve it.