Recovering Emotionally From An Assault
Being assaulted is one of the scariest attacks a person can endure as they face their own demise in the battle. It is brutal, terrifying and usually no one will come to your rescue during the battle. Afterwards you are bruised, contused and bloodied. It is not uncommon to be in pain for weeks. If anything it is likely you will feel like you have been in a serious car accident. It is advisable to seek medical attention but even then it is unlikely you will receive strong medication for your pain even when you have cracked ribs.
Often the person being assaulted has no idea why they are being attacked. It only makes sense to the aggressor. The victim is oblivious and the assault leaves the victim with a sense of complete loss of control.
The Psychology of Recovering
This may seem cruel but it is to stay off any depression associated with the assault and to help your mind process the attack and heal. Amazingly assault is very much like death of a loved on. You go through the same stages of denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. There is an tendency to over generalize and to have fear about going outside or following your normal routine. But what you fear most you must summon the courage to face in order to heal.
Emotionally you can recover by acknowledging you have been damaged and you need to emotionally recover. Don’t blame yourself. The perpetrator, in his mind, believes you to be guilty. You will feel a lot of mixed emotions. It is normal. Accepted your feelings as an after shock of the attack. Exercise will help you clear your mind. If you are really sad add chocolate into your diet but accept the pain into your body and mind as that is the only place where recovery can take place. Accepting what has happened and the damage you endured is the only way to begin to heal.
The Restraining Order Hearing
immediately after your assaulted is arrested the court will put a "no contact order in place". Inevitably you will have to obtain a restraining order. This is a process and you will be required to face your assaulter and in many instances battered in court. It is important to note that in court you should not have the expectation of remorse or hopes your assailant will tell the truth. If he/she was of good moral character they would not have assaulted you in the first place. It is also more than likely they will consider themselves the victim and that you as the victim provoked them. No one has the right to hit another person unless it is in self defense. If you obtain the restraining order you will have an extra layer of protection. But it is both healthy and good for you to face your attacker in court. Just don’t let what he/she says bother you. They have already taken enough from you.
The Temporary Restraining Order
State's Attorney's Office
If there is a criminal trial which is common you will need to make an appointment with the State’s Attorney. There will be an advocate present for you to help walk you through the process. Answer all the State’s Attorney’s questions clearly and co-operate fully. Each state is different but assaulters can be required to pay your expenses as part of a compensation package. It is not unreasonable to request the assaulter to be required to pay your medical bills associated with your costs of the assault.
There will be an arraignment. That is where the defendant pleads guilty, no contest or not guilty. Most arraignments take 15 minutes at most so unless the State Attorney requests your attendance it is not that important for you to be present.
If the case goes to trial you will be called to testify and be under a subpoena usually served by a law enforcement officer. When testifying make your answers clear and concise. And remember the criminal justice system is to help you heal from this devastating event. It will not provide you revenge but a measure of justice. I would set my expectations low as there are many variables in a trial.
The Social Impact of Crime Heard at Sentencing Hearings
On the contrary it is exceptionally important for you to attend the sentencing hearing. The incidence of assaults and violent crimes has increased in this country since 2001. It is easy for the courts to become desensitized. Therefore it is important for you to attend and make a victims impact statement to the court. This has a huge impact on sentencing and it is the moment in which you finally explain to the defendant that he is guilty and you were the victim because defendants believe they are all wrongfully imprisoned.
This process is both cathartic, healthy and is all part of your recovery. And in the sentencing you finally regain your strength and power back from your assailant. After all you are the survivor who in the madness of today’s society did not become an uncivilized criminal.
Unless of course you were attacked by a drug addict who is a criminal and then, which happened to me, they civilly sue you for damages for putting them in jail. The perps never win these cases and highlight exactly who is in the criminal fraternity but they do it ever time. The lies they tell are horrendous to the judge. In my case, I allowed the restraining order to lapse after a year and then was sued in small claims for $5,000 dollars by my drug addicted assailant. The trial last half a day and he lost badly. But what was more illuminating was who was involved in the criminal drug dealing fraternity he was involved in by who testified on his behalf. The local authorities and drug unit has been following them ever since. Their days are numbered.
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