Effects of long term abuse

Effects of long term abuse

Effects of long term abuse

I have met so many women who have been sexually abused or raped. I’ve also met a couple of men who have suffered the same trauma but by far the demographic is women and girls.

It is so endemic in our society that if we hear about another organisation protesting against gender-based violence we want to run away and ignore it.

I have never met a man who has committed these atrocities! Surely in my large circle of associates I should have come across at least one?

I know that this is a hugely complex subject with nuances that I may fail to mention or even notice.

I have a very strong stance on women who cry rape, who have not been raped or assaulted. I believe that they should be prosecuted, to the fullest extent of the law. Yes, they should go to jail for as long as a man who has committed the actual crime.

Their false accusations makes it more difficult for us to believe those who have been attacked.

There is a big discussion around consent at the moment, a topic for a different day.

For the purposes of this column let’s assume that there is no consent. I don’t care if you think you can argue that there was. 20 years down the line the proof will be in the long-term damage of the attack.

This is what I want you to think about if you are the illusive unicorn that has once upon a time had sex without consent. I want you to think about this the next time you think of raping, sexually assaulting, physically or mentally abusing anyone, be they man, woman or child. The long term damage and the absolute devastation you wreak on that person’s life should torment you into eternity.

I know that this is a sweeping generalisation but 80 % of the time my call is spot on. If a woman is obese (without a medical condition) chances are before the age of 7 or later she was sexually abused. I can hear the collective inhalation of breath. She will try to lose weight with all her might. It will go off and then more will pile on.

This person is subconsciously and very often consciously protecting themselves from more harm. The harm to the body is enormous and psychologically even more so. I’m not a therapist nor am I qualified to make a diagnosis, but I have met these women over and over again.

I recently had a very intimate conversation with an acquaintance who is at her wits end in an endeavor to lose weight. I am about as subtle as a hand grenade. I told her I didn’t think she would ever lose weight until she forgave herself. She gasped. I continued with that I suspected that she was sexually abused before the age of 7 and if she could remember the attack it felt good and that she is so ashamed.

She burst into tears. I’m not good with tears and started to regret my mouth so I just shut up and held space. She had indeed been systematically abused by her father for years. I then asked her if it had felt good. There were more tears, and she was mortified to admit that it did. She had never admitted this to anyone before despite years of therapy. How could her body betray her so badly?

Her body did what it is meant to do! Let me say that again. If you have been sexually attacked or raped and you had an orgasm, or it just felt really good – your body did what it was supposed to do.

You are not a slut or a whore (the words your abuser would probably use). You are perfectly normal.

And that is the hardest part for a victim to forgive herself for. Men have the same guilt if they have been raped. Many will orgasm from anal penetration. The shame of this is overwhelming and in the same vein as women it seems unforgivable. A burden of shame to be carried for the rest of your life.

The shame is exacerbated because no-one will talk about it or admit it. So, every single survivor has to live with the knowledge in silence.

I have met women who were raped by fathers, brothers, uncles, friend, friends of brothers, and a range of step relatives.

Many have to face that abuser every day until they are able to leave with this knowledge. No wonder they have long term damage.

I would love to have a conversation with an abuser.

Do they think about the long-term effect of their action? Do they understand that they are handing out a life sentence to their prey? Do they carry the guilt and shame of being an abuser? Do they lie awake at night and wonder what happened to the victim?

Do they ever ask for forgiveness?

Even when we know a perpetrator they are not ostracized from our community. They still get invited to parties. Families still make excused ranging from he was drunk to don’t rock the boat we need him to pay the rent.

I would like to meet a mother who knows or willingly offers her children as fodder to the monster. I want to know what she was thinking. Did she not care about the trauma and long-term damage she was aiding and abetting?

I understand that some people are psychopaths and therefore don’t care or feel anything towards those they are harming but do we have so many of them in our society for this assault to continue unabated?

Women, on the whole, are not as physically strong as men. It makes it hard to protect yourself even as an adult. How much more so for a child? Who gets off on having sex with a child? How sick are you?

Mommy or Daddy issues, I don’t care – think about the issues you are causing.

I’m not sure what I meant to say in this #sexcolumn but maybe it’s this.

If you have been raped or sexually abused and it felt good – it was meant to, it’s what the body is supposed to do. You are a healthy individual, do not feel shame and above all forgive yourself. You are more than this.

If you are an abuser. Know that the damage you have caused is a life sentence and irreparable. May you rot in your own bodily fluids. May your genitals fail to offer you any joy and may you die a slow and painful death on your own, with the memory of the damage you chose to do.

 

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