First, know that there is no standard response to an experience of stalking or sexual or interpersonal violence. All survivor reactions are “normal.”

Most survivors cannot remember the entire story. They may be confused, have blotchy memories or complete gaps of memory after the event. This is a normal response to something that is traumatic, highly stressful and unexpected.

Feelings of fear, sadness and anger are common. Some people may feel numb. Others experience shock, disbelief or even denial and many have reported feeling helplessness and a loss of control.

Even though it is never the fault of the survivor, some people may feel guilty and blame themselves for things they did or did not do. Others fear being blamed by others.

Maintaining relationships and productivity in school or work can be difficult after experiencing violence. Some survivors avoid talking about what happened or going places that are reminders and most have difficulty trusting others.