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Sexual abuse secrecy and shame

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I have to keep it a secret

Regardless of how old or how young we are, consciously; we never would like to go out in the open and share or confess the things that we have done wrong. In the case of sexual abuse victims, it would be the things that they believe they did wrong or the belief they did something shameful. This shame over sexual abuse often causes abuse victims to keep the things that happened to them to themselves.

In all sexual abuse cases, this limiting-belief that it is better to keep it a secret, hinders the healing process. It is a huge factor on the victim in moving forward and to seek the needed help in healing. Some of the most common reasons why sexual abuse victims keep their secrets:

• They are being forced or threatened
• They believe that it’s less real
• They are ashamed
• They want to protect others

It is obvious on the question as to why it is in the best interest of the perpetrator to keep their deeds a secret. They often threat or bribe their victims just to ensure they are silent about it. And mostly, it is out of angst and heavy repercussion that the victims keep quiet what had happened to them.

This is with great deal on young victims. They often think that if they stay silence about these terrible events, the events were not real. It is for abuse victims so hard to fathom that someone did this to them that they build a belief of a different reality or suppress the memory all together. For the same reason they don’t tell others because they convinced themselves already that no one believes them anyhow.

Behind the most beautiful eyes lay secrets deeper and darker the mysterious sea

Behind the most beautiful eyes lay secrets deeper and darker the mysterious sea

Sexual abuse victims are often loaded with shame over what has happened to them. They are often willing to suffer by themselves rather than relating and sharing the story to a concerned party. They create this believe that the shame would get bigger by sharing their story. For men specifically, it is often hard to admit that they were intimate with another man, that it was against their will doesn’t matter. It all too often becomes a story of sexual abuse secrecy and shame for the sexual abuse victims.

Another reason is a very twisted one. Victims at times think that they are protecting others by not telling their story. In my case, I always believed that I would protect my parents for not telling what happened to me. I never wanted a shade of shame to come over my family and I also never wanted to give my parents the feeling that they were not able to protect me.

The longer victims keep their secret, the harder it is for them to share. They make themselves believe that those are distant memories. Likewise, they adhere and conclude on what good possibly can come from telling it to someone after all this time. The fact is, unfortunately, keeping it a secret is one of the biggest hinders for sexual abuse victims to move forward and heal.

If you can relate to this and feel that the limiting-belief, ‘I must keep it a secret’, 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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