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Child sexual abuse

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… Continued: I could tell story after story of pretending to be asleep and him coming into my bedroom regardless if my mom was home or not. He raped me at 11 and a half and I ran and locked myself in the bathroom in pain. I then had a babysitter who must have been in her 20’s as I remember she had a baby. I decided that if Mary had a baby without sex then I might be able to pass off having a baby and say that I was like Mary. I understood nothing but somehow, I was frightened of getting pregnant and then explaining what had happened and I was so ashamed I did not want my mom to know. This babysitter must have thought that I was crazy, as I argued that this could happen.  Well, one day I brought home a paper to go to the…

Sometimes being an adult that suffered from child molestation or rape never leaves my mind and the repercussions of it have affected me deeply. The effect is a scar just like the kind that you receive when you’re badly injured and get stitches. I cannot speak for others as I have only had my own personal experience.  The severity of mine was very bad, it was cruel, it was terrifying, it was unmentionable and scary.  I was frightened most of my young life and it was ongoing from 7 to 17.  I was in a very innocent age at the time being born in the 50’s.  My generation did not have TV depicting much about wholesome family unit shows.  I had no Internet to look up things and asking people might have revealed something I felt ashamed, guilty, uneducated, and unknowledgeable about.  I had a small teaching of the Bible from a few Sunday School classes.  I…

The childhood trauma Lauren Book suffered robbed her of her childhood, but forced her to learn how to find her voice and rebuild her life with purpose…through her TED Talk, she challenges viewers to do what she’s been challenged to do through her journey from victim of physical, sexual and emotional abuse to struggling survivor and now thriver and internationally recognized advocate for change. Along the way, Lauren’s journey has often been three steps forward and ten steps back. Seeking to address and unearth the root cause of behaviors and decisions within her own life, and society’s take on child protection issues and child sexual abuse at large, Lauren explains how she found her driving force – her X – by choosing to face, instead of run from, some of her darkest places…and finding her (wh)Y? Lauren Book, M.S. Ed, is an internationally respected & renowned child advocate, former classroom…

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and a member on the Board of Trustees and an Ambassador for the charity Safeline.Org, Lydia hopes this emotional account of her personal journey can help to empower fellow survivors.  A recently approved foster carer, she acts on stage at The Priory Theatre Kenilworth in her spare time. Confidence is the belief “I can do this”. Lydia embraces this value in every aspect of her life; she wants to empower survivors and others to do and feel the same – each and every day.

“You feel as if the world is rushing at you. Noises become very pronounced and it makes your head swim. Sometimes you find it difficult to focus, sometimes you feel disoriented. Your heart rate soars and you become very aware of your breathing. And you sometimes have pins and needles in your hands or a sudden tension across your shoulders. Other times you feel an intense bolt of fear, which makes you want to move away but roots you to the spot…like when you’re dreaming and want to scream but no sound comes out. The attacks pass quickly but arrive with no warning. You know they go away eventually, so it takes a little of the edge off…” According to research almost everyone will experience an anxiety (panic)attack at least once in their life time. People who behave more anxiously than normal often experience many anxiety attacks. Approximately 3 percent…

I don’t know what makes me more lonely, that I’m a man who hates being a man, who hates men and manhood, or that I am one who doesn’t know where he belongs in the world. On one hand I was abused and on the other my experience doesn’t exist in people’s reality as long as society is concerned. I don’t know how I am still alive, or what I am living for but somehow, I am still here. I grew up in a family of six, four sisters and my mom, my dad left us when I was young. At age 12, I got an apprentice job working for a man at a local store close to the neighborhood. The man was so kind to me, always gave me gift-items from the store and money so I trusted him. One day after he drank, (he would allow me to…

While all forms of victimization are traumatic and life-changing to any gender, survivors of male childhood sexual abuse have the greatest challenges. Much of the literature on sexual abuse and trauma focuses on only women as victims. This isn’t an accident, there are also countless resources for female survivors dealing with trauma from sexual abuse and rape. However, men are often left out of the equation for several reasons, ranging from sheer ignorance to denial to disbelief. It also arises from our culture not providing any room for a boy or man as victim. Nevertheless, men who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and rape are out there and their isolation is compounding their trauma. Recovery from trauma is possible-and even empowering-but it takes tremendous courage, perseverance and understanding on the part of both the survivor and his loved ones. It’s not an easy road but it is unbelievably rewarding because…

The media can be a great tool for increasing public awareness about sexual violence, but it can also pose challenges for some survivors. Portrayals of sexual violence in movies, television shows, the news, and social media can prompt negative reactions, from flashbacks and anxiety to feelings of sadness or irritability. Below are a few ways to help limit your exposure to media that could prompt these uncomfortable experiences. Movies and TV Shows Movies and television programs that depict sexual violence can be part of dramatic plots, contain graphic scenes, or emphasize trauma over healing. Keep the following tips in mind to help navigate your viewing experience in a safe way. You are in control. You never have to watch something to prove you can handle it. If you go to a movie and find it upsetting, feel free to leave. If your favorite weekly television show includes a scene you find upsetting, it is ok to…

  A survivor’s automatic sexual responses may represent a learned response to the abuse or to early association of abuse in its widest sense with sexual arousal. For example, a survivor might report that s/he is only able to feel sexual arousal if the sexual activity incorporates an element of violence. They may feel ashamed to admit to such feelings, but they are common, and often relate to the individual’s first sexual experiences during the abuse. If they experienced violation, humiliation and fear as a child at the same time as they experienced arousal, it can leave a legacy where the two elements are fused and confused. The consequence can be that the survivor associates pleasure with pain, and love with humiliation. In addition, survivors may report that they can only function sexually if they think or fantasize about sex in an abusive context. The early experience of abuse…

“Everyone in my life took my rape as lightly as a brief thunderstorm that might have been frightening when it happened, but was easy to forget about. I adopted that mentality as the foundation of my sex life. I would, time and time again, treat sex as flimsily as it started. I would give it away as if it was cheap, second-hand junk, rather than a prize that deserved to be earned.” – A  Survivor. Many survivors find that their sexual attitudes and reactions are impacted after sexual assault. While these effects are not permanent, they can be very frustrating as they can decrease the enjoyment of one’s sexual life and intimacy with others for some time. Fortunately, even if one does not actively work on sexual healing, as the sexual assault heals, the sexual symptoms will diminish. Experiencing sexual symptoms after sexual assault is not only very common, but…