There is information across the website relevant to women. However this page is devoted to issues that are particular to women.
Both rape and sexual abuse can result in pregnancy for women and girls. It is important to seek emergency contraception as soon as possible if you think you could be at risk of pregnancy following a sexual attack. If you do find you are pregnant, seek advice and support from your doctor or sexual health clinic as soon as possible to think through your options. Depending on your situation and what has happened, pregnancy may create some difficult feelings for you. This can be particularly hard when you are already dealing with the impact of being raped so it will be important to find somebody to confide in who you can trust, a friend or an organisation like Survive, to support you emotionally and practically.
Childbirth can trigger memories of childhood sexual abuse. Childbirth can be an experience where women feel a lack of control over their own bodies, and consequently after childbirth, recall earlier experiences of being abused. If this happens to you look for support. Talk to your midwife, health visitor or GP and/or contact Survive. It can be stressful having a new baby, but with support and space to talk about and make sense of what is going on for you, you improve your chances of avoiding becoming depressed and hopefully enjoying your new baby.
Women abused by women
If you are a woman who has been sexually abused by a woman, you may have found it hard to recognise that what was happening was actually abusive. When you have, it may be difficult to find someone who believes you. This is because common stereotypes portray women as naturally good, kind and caring. This then makes it unthinkable that a woman can be sexually abusive.
Daughters abused by mothers may experience difficulties developing a separate sense of identity or any sense of self worth. They may feel bad about their body image and have difficulty developing a sense of their own sexuality. For a more detailed account of the impact sexual abuse by a mother has on a daughter see ‘A Painful Topic’(2000) by Kali Munro click here.