Victims of Abuse

'Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you

Jean-Paul Satre

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence of any kind is poisonous to a relationship. It is when an unhealthy power structure is created where physical superiority has to be taken into account and feared. Bitterness takes over instead of love and openness. Abuse and domestic violence are usually generational; In other words, if you were abused or a witness as a child, you owe it to yourself and your partner to seek for counseling, even if you don’t think it still affects you. Abusive actions will most likely seep into your relationships, precisely because abuse is so varied and does not have to be physical to exist.

The existential therapeutic approach of abuse opens up possibilities for growth. Many people exercise emotional torment and threats of violence without actually resorting to violence, yet their actions are still abusive and quite damaging for the other. A victim will feel great deals of psychological and emotional pain including loneliness, trauma, depression, fear, and lowered self-worth. In addition, they will probably start to develop psychosomatic symptoms such as headaches or backaches. The relationship is doomed to be one of decay, and growing into one’s full self is impossible.  The possibility for healing and growth increases dramatically when the balance of the relationship is defined by openness and love.

Victims of Abuse

Other forms of abuse

Other forms of abuse are not so easily detected due to the reason that the abuser tries to instill self-doubt in his victims in order to maintain control instead of actual violence.  Here are some questions a person can ask themselves to help them identify the abuse

As a therapist I offer help to both the abuser and the victim. Abusers will benefit from domestic abuse therapy by learning how to recognize triggers, manage their anger, and take responsibility for their failures and shortcomings. Therapy can help abusers investigate their childhood events and situations that contributed to their violent and abusive behavior as adults. Victims who have been abused need a nonjudgmental therapist who is supportive and empathic in order to help them build trust and feel safe again. As a professional, being supportive, without taking control is essential in the therapeutic process.  Such process allows victims to regain control and rebuild their lives, as well as, to gain the courage needed to reach their potential and complete their journey to recovery. Therapy gives a space to the client to build a secure base through regular contact and warm acceptance. Depression, anxiety, and substance use is often a direct result from chronic emotional and/or physical suffering.

In addition to individual therapy, a group experience will be recommended during or at the end of their sessions. Listening to other group members sharing their stories helps them overcome debilitating ideas such that their difficulties are unique. Hearing others who have experienced or are experiencing similar issues helps reduce the sense of isolation and validates each person’s humanness. Groups offer unconditional acceptance that enables members to fully accept themselves, but also offer help and comfort to each other by giving support, reassurance, and suggestions. Therefore, participation in group therapy helps in recognizing that human existence is limited, that it occurs in uncontrollable contexts, and that we are all ultimately responsible for ourselves (Waldo, 1985).

Child molestation

Child molestation is any sexual contact with a child; I prefer to call it child rape. Most children who are molested are too young to know what is happening and cannot fight back and are manipulated into cooperating with the abuser. Examples of child molestation include touching, fondling or demanding sexual favors from a child.

Incest

Incest describes sexual contact between family close family members who cannot be legally married. The majority of all reported incest occurs as child abuse.

Sexual assault

Non-consensual sexual contact with another person. Sexual assault includes behavior such as groping, unwanted physical utilization and any unwanted sexual touching and attempted rape.

Other forms of sexual abuse

Some sexual abuse does not fit neatly into common legal or psychological definitions. For instance, parents who make sexually inappropriate comments to their children or have sex in front of them are engaging in sexual abuse.  Additionally, porn sites which publish nude photos of victims without their consent, is another form of sexual abuse.

Rape

Forced sexual contact or intercourse with someone who does not or cannot consent. Forcing sex upon someone who is intoxicated, is not legally old enough to give consent, or does not want it all constitutes rape. It is the sexual use, involving penile, fingers, or objects on a woman’s, man’s or child’s body without that person’s consent, with forced consent such as threats or if that person cannot consent due to age, mental disability, state of drunkenness or being drugged, being asleep, passed out or relative social position to the rapist (for example an employee, slave, parishioner, patient, lower rank, etc.). Rape can include penis in vagina, mouth, anus, or forced masturbation. Sexual abuse and sexual assault are terms used to refer to sexual crimes.

Rape and Sexual Harassment

Sexual Abuse, rape, sexual assault, and incest counselling has a healing process and it can help!

If you were or continue to be sexually abused, raped, or a victim of incest, it is important for you to know that psychotherapy is a healing process which can help you overcome the problems arising from such an abuse or assault.Issues that arise can range from difficulty in forming new relationships, fearfulness of certain situations, lack of trust in others, misdirected anger, self-blame, rage, anxiety, depression, personality disruptions and trauma.  Furthermore, you could experience issues with intimacy and sexuality for many years to come.  Without counselling or professional help, these problems are not likely to go away — in fact, may very well worsen over time.

Types of Sexual Assault and Abuse

Sexual abuse is common worldwide; particularly for women and girls. Research has shown that about ninety percent of all rapes are committed against women with a ratio of 1 in 6 women experiencing rape. Moreover, one in 5 girls and one in 20 boys experience childhood sexual abuse.