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The Survivor's Guide to Sex: How to Have an Empowered Sex Life After Child Sexual Abuse
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This book offers an affirming, sex-positive approach to recovery from incest and rape.

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What Is Abuse?

Abuse is a pattern of behavior that a person uses to try to control or dominate another person. Abuse does not have to be physical. The consequences of emotional abuse can be as damaging as physical abuse, though much harder to recognize, and therefore more difficult to recover from. Emotional abuse may cause long term self esteem issues. Listed below are some examples of emotional abuse:

  • When a person is threatened, intimidated, humiliated, yelled at, or blamed, and made to feel inferior or stupid;
  • Constant emotional or verbal assaults that make someone feel sad, worthless and/or unwanted;
  • Name calling, making them feel crazy, playing mind games, and blame shifting;
  • Using words and feelings to strike out, embarrass, shame, insult or reject;
  • May include excessive, aggressive or unreasonable demands that are beyond a persons capacity;
  • Constant criticizing, belittling, insulting, and rejecting are all examples of emotional abuse.

Emotional abuse may happen for months and years before any damage is evident. By the time the injury is noticed, the person may already be having significant difficulty coping with life. Emotional abuse ultimately affects a persons development and sense of self-worth.

Physical abuse is the most visible form of abuse may be defined as any act that results in a non-accidental trauma or physical injury. Physical abuse injuries result from punching, beating, pushing, shoving, slapping, biting, kicking, choking, hitting, burning, throwing objects, preventing someone from physically leaving, threatening with a weapon, or otherwise harming someone. Many people include rape under physical abuse, I do not. I think it constitutes sexual abuse.

Sexual Abuse can be defined as the involvement of dependent, developmentally immature children in sexual activities they do not fully comprehend and therefore, which they unable to give informed consent. Sexual abuse also includes rape, whether as an adult or a child. Sexual abuse is any misuse of a child for sexual pleasure or gratification. Sexual abuse includes sexual intercourse and/or its deviations, including, exhibitionism, fondling, and any sexual contact. Sexual abuse can include any of the list below:

For A Child

  • indecent exposure/exhibitionism
  • exposure to pornographic material
  • the deliberate exposure to the act of intercourse
  • masturbating in front of a child
  • fondling
  • forcing or coaxing a child to touch an adults sexual organs
  • any penetration of a child’s vagina or anus by an object that doesn’t have a medical purpose
  • engaging a child for the purposes of prostitution
  • using a child to film, photograph or model pornography
For An Adult
  • criticizing you sexually
  • insisting on uncomfortable and unwanted touching
  • committing sadistic sexual acts
  • name calling, “whore”, “frigid”, “dog” before, during or after sex
  • forcing someone to strip who did not want to
  • forced sex of any kind, includes rape even when you are married
  • any sexual contact done without your consent, including when you are married











Disclaimer:   I am not a health care professional. I am an abuse survivor. The resources on this site are for information and education only. Information on this website is meant to support not replace the advice of a licensed health care or mental health care professional. Please consult your own physician for health care advice.

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