Derailing Suicidal Thoughts After Rape

By Karen Kosman:

When suicidal thoughts occur after rape, those thoughts need derailing. People can help.


I understood the young women’s distress as I stood by her emergency room gurney. I noticed the bruises on her arms and looked into her fearful eyes. She’d been raped.

“Hi, I’m here from the lab, and I need to take a blood sample,” I said softly. She remained silent as I drew her blood. “I’m sorry about what you are going through. As a teenager I, too, became a rape victim.”

She looked surprised, and the tears began as she said, “I’m so afraid he’ll come back. How do I go on? Right now I just want to die.”

“You take one day at a time. Eventually, you’ll start to feel safe again. Don’t be afraid to seek professional counseling. What happened to you is not your fault.”

She asked with a trembling voice, “Did you do that?”

“Yes. I did. It’s a safe place to talk about your fears.”

“Thank you. I’m glad you shared with me.”

As I returned to the lab, my thoughts churned, When someone states, “I just want to die” that’s a red flag, no matter what the circumstances. People who are hurt, or traumatized during a criminal act, need to know that others care.

Often in our daily walk we have brief encounters with people who we don’t really know, but God has allowed our paths to cross. He whispers to our hearts to reach out in love and concern.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22: 37-38

If you found this blog page because yourself have just been assaulted, or still struggle with the effects long after an assault has happened, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline1.800.656.HOPE. You can also refer others to this number to help them.

Karen Kosman is co-author of the book, Too Soon to Say Goodbye: Healing and Hope for Victims and Survivors of Suicide.

Additional Resources for Rape Victims

To read about some misconceptions about rape, see: Resources for Victims of Rape.

If you have just been assaulted, the first thing you should do is get medical attention. A Physical Evidence Recover Kit may be used to acquire evidence.

Another resource is which includes a list of resources for rape victims in the US, UK and Australia.

To find a christian counselor in the USA, you can visit or The American Association of Christian Counselors.