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Guilt over sexual abuse

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It is my own fault; sexual abuse victims often blame them self  of what has happened to them.  You can hear this in most sexual abuse stories.

Sexual abuse victims often develop a limiting-belief that what has happened to them was their own fault. In some twisted way; they believe they are the ones responsible for what has overcome them. Unfortantaly this limiting-belief hinders them to move on, seek sexual abuse counseling and to heal.

This guilt over sexual abuse can be especially strong when the abuser was someone close, like a friend or family member, or as unfortunately in many cases as personally close as the spouse. It is often hard for sexual abuse victims to accept that someone close would do something bad to them. Consumed by the question why, victims are looking for faults in their own behavior.

During the investigation of rape cases on sexual abuse stories, investigators often question them, on whether they were dressed appropriately or whether their behavior triggered reactions of any kind of nature that made a wrong emotion that would have ‘seduced’ their rapist. This questioning only builds on the doubt and guilt victims already have.

This is what I was wearing, tell me I asked for it. I DARE you

This is what I was wearing, tell me I asked for it. I DARE you

For young abused children, their abuser/s often want to give them the feeling that it is their fault. Especially when the abuse is paired with violence. In the case of childhood sexual abuse, the abuser makes the child believe that they deserve the ‘punishments’ they received. Receptive as children are for adults influence, abused children develop this sense of guilt very easily and they can carry it with them for a long time.

In my own case, my abuser offered me money; I was 7 years old and had no conception of what he was going to do to me. There was however an immediate feeling that I did something wrong. And because I was forced into something that was wrong and accepted money for it guilt started to develop.

In their need for an answer, sexual abuse victims sometimes question their own behavior or whether they were not clear saying NO to their abuser. It is ironic that men sometimes believe that no means yes and even joke about it. For us victims, it was never a joke, how often did I scream NO, but nobody responded to my desperate cry. The needed response definitely did not come from my abuser whose only aim was to satisfy his lust and needs. On hindsight I sometimes still ponder how I ever could have believed that this was my fault?

It is often almost incomprehensible that victims can have this strong feeling of guilt. Unfortunately, this is one of the beliefs that victims have, one that limits them to move forward. They have to overcome this limiting belief, like I did, to the get the necessary healing from what has happened. If you can relay to this and feel that this limiting-belief, ‘it’s my own fault’, is hindering you from moving forward please leave a comment below or write me a direct message.

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About the Author

Jean DorffI am a survivor of sexual abuse but I am healed; healed from the sexual abuse. I sometimes wish that the scars of the abuse were gone too, but they also remind me that I was victorious in my battle, that I found my inner strength and that I can live a life on my terms. This life experience combined with my training as martial artist, dance instructor and coach, gave me the foundation to support others with similar experiences to instead of only survive after sexual abuse, to strive in life and move confidently forward.View all posts by Jean Dorff →

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