Bel 0800-0188
Gratis (en anoniem)
Chat met CSG
Gratis (en anoniem)

Help from a professional associated to your educational programme after a bad sexual experience

Janna van der Zedde is a paediatrician associated with HMC and a regional education centre in Amsterdam. She tells you what healthcare professionals associated to your educational programme can do for you after you have had a bad sexual experience.

‘Please not only look after someone else, but also after yourself’

‘Before the coronavirus pandemic and the scandal at The Voice of Holland, not that many young people would come to me with bad sexual experiences. And all the attention in the media has led to more of our students coming to me for help. There are stories of incest, rape and other forms of sexual assault. And friends of young people who are being abused also come to me for help and advice. For example, there was a girl who was really struggling because her friend was being abused. “What can I do to help her?”, she asked me.

What can you do for someone else

What you can do for someone else who has had a bad sexual experience is listen when necessary, say it’s not their fault, explain that talking about a bad experience can help, and that professional help is available via the degree programme and the Sexual Assault Center.
 It is great to be able to support a friend, but it’s also important to take care of yourself in a situation like that. Stories about the sexual assault of a friend can also cause you stress. You may feel tense or get physical issues such as a headache, stomach ache or difficulty sleeping. And it may be that your schoolwork is suffering as a result. You can be there for someone but you also need to be able to let go if you are struggling yourself. Be careful and see how someone else’s story affects you and be honest with them.

Talk about it

Whether you have had bad sexual experiences yourself or you feel stressed because it happened to someone else; it is important to talk to someone you trust about your experiences and feelings. It helps to process the experience. Please know that there is always a professional available through your educational programme, such as a paediatrician or a youth advisor. And know that your secret is safe with us: we have a duty of confidentiality.

Finding help after a bad sexual experience can often be very difficult. Mainly due to feelings of guilt or shame. Or the fear of not being believed. Many students who experienced this think it will all be fine and they will just be able to continue on with their lives. But unfortunately that’s not how it works. Your brain suffered a fracture in a manner of speaking and it needs rest. Like if you break your leg. The facture needs to heal and you should take all the rest you need. Do not be too hard on yourself. Take care of yourself as you would a good friend. What would you advise him or her or them?

Preventing dropouts

My advice: don’t keep it to yourself for too long – whether you have had a bad sexual experience yourself or whether it was a good friend or acquaintance of yours. The stress you experience can lead to more issues and you may even need to drop out. Of course that is something you wish to prevent. Together with the healthcare professionals associated to your programme, you will determine your capacity to study; can you still manage or do you need to take it a little bit easier?’

Read the interview with student counselor Patrick Vandermeieren.

What you need to know after experiencing sexual assault

  • It was not your fault.
  • Talking about it can help.
  • It is important to seek professional help.
  • For help and advice, please get in touch with the Sexual Assault Center.


After an unwanted sexual experience it is good that someone is there for the victim. Your support can make a difference. But what is the best thing to do? Check out our tips for loved ones.

Do you need help or advice?

Have you also experienced an unpleasant sexual experience and need help or advice?
Then contact the Sexual Assault Center. We are here for you!