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Sexual Abuse

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Women are the largest group of victims of sexual abuse but is a problem with men as well. This is a topic that is very personal as I have been sexually abused in a relationship and as a child. In both cases, it has horrific effects on the victim, and in both cases the victim often blames themselves. Like with childhood sexual abuse it can go largely unseen.

Most sexual acts are committed on women are done by someone they know well. Women and men are sexually abused in relationships and in most cases, this crime is largely under-reported or hard to prove. Sexual abuse is forcing a partner to take part in a sex act without consent, this includes guilting the person into a sexual act, rape, forcing them to be a part of unwanted sexual activity (such as anal or oral sex). In some cases, it can be hard to know if it is sexual abuse (such as with guilting), so it is best to look for the signs in a person if you suspect sexual abuse. Sexual abuse like other forms of abuse are often a complex mixture of sexual, economic, emotional, and physical abuse.

What are signs of sexual abuse (in adults)?

Depression

Feelings of guilt

Anxiety (can show in avoidance behavior or over thinking about what has happened.)

Anger

Pulling away from people closest to them.

Fear when in similar situations.

How to protect yourself?

(Let me first by saying there is no way to 100% protect yourself but you can take steps to lower your risk.)

Whatever happens is not your fault.

If in your gut you feel unsafe try and remove yourself from the situation.

If you have to lie to avoid anger do so (Its okay).

Have a code word family and friends know when you need help.

Know your escape route.

If you are drinking keep an eye on your friends.

Don’t drink anything if you did not see it get made or you do not know what’s in the drink.

Don’t take drinks from people you do not know or trust.

Good place to start for help (here)

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