What are the long-term emotional effects?
There is no limit to the emotional effects of rape! It destroyed my sense of well-being and left me feeling like a violated shell of my former self. The “Me” inside that shell had died. I felt worthless and was filled with self-loathing as a result of my rape. I reasoned that, in some way, I was responsible for what had happened to me. As time passed I directed all that anger and rage inward, becoming self-destructive. I loathed the weak and vulnerable adolescent inside of me that had been so brutally victimized. I was at war with myself and actually spiraled downward to a very dark place where I actually felt that taking my own life was the only way of escaping the hell in which I lived.
How can rape affect more than the victim, for example family members?
My parents were at a complete loss to understand me. For no apparent reason their happy, out-going daughter became introverted and depressed. I withdrew from my usual activities and spent long hours alone in my room. In desperation they did what any responsible parent would do – they sought professional help. Since I had already decided that I was “unfixable” I was uncooperative and that resulted in me being mis-diagnosed. I was suffering in one way; my parents were equally suffering in another way. Our very normal life was turned upside down because of that horrid event and in the years that followed we lived under a very dark cloud. This is an example of how one event can permanently change the lives of a complete family. That is so sad!