Identify people you trust to validate your feelings and affirm your strengths. Friends, family, and counselors can make a big difference in the healing process.
Choose when, where, and with whom to talk about the violence, and set limits by only disclosing information that feels safe for you to reveal.
Consider speaking with a therapist, counselor, hotline volunteer, or Voices Against Violence (VAV) advocate. Talking about sexual assault can be difficult at first, but often helps survivors regain control in their lives. Many hotlines and online chat hotlines are available 24 hours a day.
Try to maintain a balanced diet and sleep cycle as much as possible; avoid overusing stimulants like caffeine, sugar, and nicotine. For more information about your health, check out the resources provided by University Health Services and visit the Office of Health Promotion on the 1st floor of the Student Services Building.
Use stress reduction techniques, such as exercise (jogging, aerobics, walking) or meditation. UT Rec Sports offers many services here on campus. Check out their offerings and schedules at www.utrecsports.org. The Mind Body Lab located in the Counseling and Mental Health Center on the 5th floor of the SSB.
Connect with the outdoors. Austin has a number of hike and bike trails, free or low-cost swimming pools, parks, and gardens. For a full list of options and activities, visit http://austintexas.gov/department/parks-and-recreation.
Take time to discover music, art and/or theatre off-campus. Check local listings on Austin newspaper and event websites. Many events around town are free.
Discover your playfulness and creativity. Find time for play or take part in a creative activity like drawing, painting, sculpture, poetry, or picking up an instrument. There are many options to take a low-cost art class in Austin. For example, check out the listings at the Doherty Arts Center or UT Informal Classes.
Allow yourself "time outs" for relaxation (yoga, massage, music, hot baths, prayer, meditation). Give yourself permission to take quiet moments to reflect, relax, and rejuvenate - especially during times you feel stressed or unsafe.
Check out the Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) online Stress Recess at cmhc.utexas.edu/stressrecess You can also visit the 5th floor of the SSB to visit the Mind Body Lab. Learn more at www.cmhc.utexas.edu/mindbodylab.html
For a list of campus ministries, please see the University Interfaith Council http://www.uicut.org or search for a student org related to your religious practice on Hornslink.
Find short periods of uninterrupted leisure reading time. It might seem silly to suggest reading to university students, but making time for unrequired reading can be a relaxing, healing activity. Our UT libraries are an incredible place to find a book and/or a suggestion of what to pick up next.
Consider writing or keeping a journal as a way of expressing thoughts and feelings. There are many free, private online journals and websites with rich writing prompts such as www.penzu.com/
Connect with other survivors online. Some places to start are searching for hashtags on social media sites. You can also try searching for "survivor forum" or "survivor message board."
Connect with other survivors in person. Group Therapy can be a place to connect with others who may be able to relate to your experience. VAV offers group therapy for survivors on campus, for more information please visit: www.cmhc.utexas.edu/groups.html
Safeplace also offers free group therapy to survivors in Austin, TX.
You may also be interested in upcoming speak-outs for survivors to share their stories at public events, such as Take Back the Night. Please see the VAV Calendar for upcoming events on campus and in the Austin community.
Connect with the UT Austin community through events, organizations and campus centers. To keep up to date with what's happening on campus, check out the lists available on the Campus Life websites, including Hornslink. and Know Events.