Information | Office of Violence Prevention

Learn terms and definitions, how to help a friend, and the potential impact of experiencing a traumatic event.

Definitions

Understanding the basics of violence, how to help a friend and the impact you can make.

How to Help a Friend

Potential Impact

Survivors who have experienced a traumatic event may begin to experience emotional or physical reactions. The aftershocks may appear immediately, or within days, weeks, months, or years after the traumatic event.

These symptoms may last a few days, weeks, months and, occasionally, longer, depending on the severity of the traumatic event. Being aware of these responses can help you know what to expect and help you support a survivor. Consider meeting a counselor who has specialized training in helping people who have experienced gender-based violence and sexual misconduct or supporting their loved ones who have experienced it.

The following physical, mental and emotional reactions are common after experiencing trauma. This, however, is not a complete or exhaustive list.

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