A victim’s reaction to trauma
You awake to a very large, strong man covering your mouth with one hand, making it difficult to breathe, let alone scream. In the other hand, he’s clenching a knife millimeters from your face. Terror seizes your entire body and you react…. but how?
Fight or flight is the response society expects in violent attacks. Your hypothalamus and pituitary take over, instantly flooding you with hormones to protect your sustainability.
- Adrenalin arouses you to your circumstance.
- Cortisol provides you with uncommon energy.
- Opiods act like morphine to temporarily blind you to your pain.
- Oxytocin attempts to stabilize your emotions.
Totally apart from your conscious control, you freeze.
You are not alone. It is estimated that 12 to 50% of rape victims will respond by freezing, and it is thought that the number is closer to 50% than 12%. Also, victims who experienced prior sexual trauma are more likely to…
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