Many crimes often involve the use of force or violence against victims. This particular type of crime is known as a violent personal assault, which is characterized by the act of inflicting unlawful physical harm upon a person.
On average, 24 people per minute are victims of some form of violent personal assault in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.
Typically, after a violent personal assault, the victim will suffer some type of trauma. This trauma can be either physically or emotional, and can vary greatly in severity. Trauma is not something to be taken lightly and should be treated immediately in order to make a complete return back into society.
Types of Assault
There are two different types of violent personal assaults, aggravated assault and simple assault. An assault is considered aggravated when a weapon is used or when it results in serious injury. An injury is considered serious if it includes, broken bones, lost teeth, internal injuries, loss of consciousness and any unspecified injury requiring two or more days of hospitalization. Even if a weapon is used and there is no injury, it is still considered an aggravated assault.
An assault is considered simple when no weapon is used and it results in either minor or no injury. An injury is considered minor if it includes bruises, black eyes, cuts or an undetermined injury requiring less than two days of hospitalization. Even if no injury occurs, and no weapon was used, it is still considered simple assault.
What is Trauma
Trauma is characterized as physical or emotional damage caused by an assault.
Regardless of the type and severity of the assault, survivors may experience trauma, which typically corresponds with the following feelings:
- Be shocked, angry or afraid
- Feel helpless because you could not prevent the assault
- Have nightmares or flashbacks about the assault
- Trouble sleeping and concentration
- Revengeful thoughts
- Think that you did something to cause the attack
- Feel embarrassed about telling your family and friends
- Feel any or all of the above, whether you were physically injured or not
Overtime, if the trauma persists, specifically for over a month, then the victim may be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD).
Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD)
PTSD can develop after a very stressful, frightening or distressing event, or after a prolonged traumatic experience. Violent personal assaults are one of the leading triggers of PTSD, since 1 in 3 people who experience severe trauma develop the disorder. While not everyone who suffers from an assault and trauma develops PTSD, those who do are by no means weak; PTSD is not a sign of weakness.
There are three categories of symptoms associated with PTSD which include:
- Avoiding reminders of the trauma including places, people, thoughts or other activities that can be associated with the event.
- Reliving the event through recurring nightmares or other intrusive images that occur at random, any time. Typically reliving the event will result in extreme emotional or physical reactions such as chills, heart palpitations or panic when faced with reminders of the event.
- Being on guard or hyper-aroused at times, including feeling sudden anger or irritability, having difficulty sleeping or a lack of concentration and being overly alert and easily startled.
PTSD when left untreated can lead to a variety of serious symptoms, including:
- Loneliness: PTSD can potentially make a person very difficult to be around and is often undiagnosed, and as a result, individuals with the disease may end up isolated and alone.
- Anger management issues: For some people, the moments of recurring stress and anxiety lead to outbursts of anger or rage. This can result in child or spousal abuse or even public violence.
- Severe depression: Serious depression is always a risk with PTSD. Many sufferers may demonstrate suicidal thoughts or actions while in the midst of a depressive episode.
While these symptoms are serious, they can be corrected and eradicated with proper treatment.
Early Intervention and Treatment is Critical
Trauma has the potential to leave lasting scars that have the potential to completely alter your demeanor and character for the rest of your life if left untreated. Seeking treatment can completely turn your life around after a traumatic event, giving you the chance to be the best possible version of yourself.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) is an innovative, evidence-based therapy for PTSD, anxiety, depression, stress and similar mental health issues. Initially, the therapy was primarily used to help veterans suffering from PTSD. One of the major advantages is the speed at which ART is able to bring relief. On average one to five sessions are needed, not months or years of expensive psychiatric treatment.
Accelerated Resolution Therapy works by reprogramming the traumatic memories that are preventing the inflicted individual from enjoying the full life they deserve. The techniques work equally well on bullying victims, combat vets and others.
Don’t let trauma from your past continue to control your life. Contact ART to learn more or find a therapist near you.