Understanding Trauma & Violence


I was sexually coerced by a friend of mine. I feel so guilty for avoiding him and feel as though I am doing the wrong thing, but I oscillate between hating him and not wanting him to feel bad/excluded. I hate feeling this way. Is this normal after assault by a friend?


Thank you so much for this question. It can be so difficult to navigate situations when we are in social circles with people who have caused us harm in the past.

The feelings you are feeling, while challenging, are not uncommon for people who have experienced sexual coersion the way you have.  Survivors of sexual coercion and assault often feel conflicted and confused about their feelings towards the person who harmed them, especially if they knew them beforehand.

Your feelings are absolutely valid. While it is natural to feel some guilt, you have the right to make choices that prioritize your safety and well-being. Avoiding the person who sexually coerced you is a completely understandable response, and it's okay to take steps to protect yourself.

We hope this goes without saying, but it is NOT your fault what happened to you. Consent needs to be clear and enthusiastic for it to be valid. No matter what the circumstances were, no one has the right to touch you without your consent. It's not your responsibility to make this person feel better or to justify your choices to anyone else. But we understand that this is a challenging situation to navigate.

It is hard to say whether or not this person knows the extent of the harm they caused. And it is up to you whether or not you feel comfortable telling them about that harm. At the end of the day, you need to do what is right for you and your healing. There is no right or wrong answer, but do not sacrifice your comfort for theirs. Your feelings matter too.

Thank you again for reaching out to us. We are here for you every step of the way. You are not alone. 

Safety Exit