The Surprising Way Groping Harms You
Once the immediate shock of the crime wears off, “victims typically feel embarrassed that they were singled out, and they often second-guess their emotions and convince themselves they are overreacting,” explains Chip Stone, a clinical and forensic psychiatrist in California, whose clients include both sex offenders and trauma victims.
Those emotions may be reinforced if a woman goes to the police. In addition to the fact that there is usually a lack of forensic evidence or witnesses, an old-school attitude typically exists among police officers that groping is no big deal. “That means investigating the incident is low on the priority list of most cops,” says Turvey.
The assault can also trigger a deeper, more insidious response. “Women tend to feel robbed of their strength and resilience, forcing them to re- evaluate how safe they really are,” says Turvey. Adds Dr Stone, “Being groped is a disempowering feeling.”