ASERT does not offer crisis services through our Resource Center. If you or someone you love is experiencing mental health distress or thoughts of suicide please call or text 988 for support.
These resources are designed to provide information and tips on how to provide support to individuals with autism who may have experienced sexual abuse or assault. There are general resources that are appropriate for all ages and developmental levels, as well as specific resources for caregivers, professionals and individuals with autism.
If you have experienced sexual abuse or assault: Tell someone.
If you have experienced sexual abuse or assault that no one else knows about, it’s very important that you tell someone about what is happening. Many times, sexual offenders will tell you that the abuse/assault is a secret. This is not true. You always have the right to tell someone you trust. These are some tips for telling about sexual abuse and assault. Telling is the first step in making the abuse or assault come to an end.
You may feel sad, scared, lonely, mad, embarrassed or fearful of the person who hurt you. You may also feel love or anger at the person who hurt you.
It’s normal to experience many different feelings following sexual assault or abuse. It’s important to identify ways for coping with feelings, learn the difference between ways to cope that help and ways to cope that are less helpful.
Some common helpful ways of coping with feelings include:
When you practice coping with feelings, pay attention to how it made you feel. If a coping strategy was helpful, you’ll feel better afterward. If you still feel bad, it may not work well, and you should try other coping strategies. It’s good to have more than one way to cope, so try a few different ways and find what works best for you.
Abuse is never the victim’s fault. The offender is always to blame for the abuse.
Coping skills are ways to handle stress and big feelings that you may have after experiencing sexual abuse or assault. If someone has abused you, you may feel:
You May Also Feel:
Finding ways to help cope with these feelings may be hard, but is very important.
Learn to identify your feelings. Practice naming the emotions you feel, understand what happens in your body when you feel different emotions and how different people, places, and things lead you to feel different emotions.
Tell the people who care about you, like family and trusted friends, about your feelings
It may also help to talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you learn about your feelings and solving problems that lead to negative feelings.
Remember it’s never your fault that you were abused!
|Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals||Tips for Telling About Abuse or Assault||Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals|
|Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals||Self-Advocacy and Self-Disclosure||Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals|
|Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals||Coping Skills After Experiencing Sexual Assault or Abuse||Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals|
|Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals||Coping Skills for Sexual Abuse||Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals|
|Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals||Self-Advocacy and Self-Disclosure – Russian||Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals|
|Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals||Self-Advocacy and Self-Disclosure – Chinese||Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals|
|Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals||Self-Advocacy and Self-Disclosure - Spanish||Download file: Be Safe: Intervention for Individuals|
This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.