Sexual Abuse – Revealing the Signs. Can You See Them?

Sexual abuse – revealing the signs. Can you see them? I am finding this post exceptionally challenging to write. My first attempt consisted of only gruesome facts while listing evidence and the results of this crime. All of this is available to any of you with online research. So, I decided to change my angle and add that personal touch by delving somewhat into my story. This way, you will see how additional links forged the generational chain of abuse that tainted my life. But first, I begin with a few statistics.

The number of victims is staggering. One report claims that 55% of the population in America has fallen prey to sexual abuse. Yet the statistics are bound to be higher as most never reported the crime. That somber percentage includes children—one in five males, and one in three females. Women are more frequent victims of this crime, including typically one out of every four. The numbers for men consist of one out of nine.

An Abuse of Shame

Sexual abuse is an abuse of shame—hence, victims often hide or minimize the act. One person I know frequently diminished their experience, saying, “It’s no big deal. He only fondled me, and it happened just one time. After that, I simply avoided him.” She fooled herself into believing her molester caused no actual harm. Even though, in all reality, that “one” experience formulated her. Consequently, the attention she received from that man warped into a sickened form of what she viewed as love.

I know that woman well. For she is my mother. Not having sought a healthy way to heal, Mother needed to find a sense of normalcy within her tragic experience. She found this by frequently handing my sister and me over to known molesters from a very young age. Consequently, our generational chain of abuse grew yet another link longer.

Tainted Childhood

My sister and I underwent a childhood flooded by sexual abuse that perpetuated to extreme levels. I look back now and see the many glaring signs that resulted from its deep, cutting scars. Thus being victimized reshaped my psychological state, biting huge chunks out of my self-worth. As a result, emotions and feelings that had to be buried came out in other ways, including self-inflicted wounds. A once adventurous and outgoing child, I became painfully shy. So much so that by age twelve, I barely spoke above a whisper. I suffered from extremely low self-esteem and isolated myself. This sexual abuse, as often is the case, bled into another form of abuse, religious abuse.

As early as my toddler years, my father insisted I take on an adult’s level of maturity. This demand meant I carried the blame for any bad thing that happened to me. He always insisted that “I knew better.” My father also taught me to respect and obey my elders with no exceptions. That brainwashing he deeply drilled into me empowered him to serve me up as a delectable morsel on a golden platter. 

Lasting Effects

As an adult, I suffered from large chunks of memory lapses. And flashbacks often invaded my thoughts. As a result, unable to fully engage in life, I existed as if viewing my surroundings from within a fishbowl. Fear, especially of men, anxiety, and stress dominated my existence. When I could sleep, my dreams consisted of terrorizing nightmares. I barely existed, hidden within a fantasy world of my own making, detached from reality.

Due to my parents’ skilled isolation imprinted upon me, I knew no other way of being than what they modeled. As a result, I did what many do and married a carbon copy of my father—Yet another link forged to this generational chain. This man proved to be just as abusive as my parents. Throughout most of the twenty-six years I remained with him, I suffered deep depression. Even more than once, I even planned out my suicide.

During much of my adult life, I underwent therapy, some helpful, some not so much. I believed my efforts to heal from the abuse and not pass it on to my children would spare them from such devastating effects. Naivety overtook me, as I’ve recently learned that my children’s father also abused at least some of my children and even a grandchild—Two more chains forged to the ever-growing link. I pray daily that this ghastly chain is permanently severed.

Forms of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is not limited to rape and molestation. It includes any form of violent or forced sex. Also, grooming a person to be a victim in subtle ways falls under this definition. Do not forget inappropriately talking about sex to a child. Another way is to force one to pose for suggestive pictures and dress suggestively. There also is pressuring a person to watch pornography. And making threats of any sort if someone does not engage in sex as demanded must be added to this list.

A frequent yet lesser-known way an abuser coerces their victim is by calling sex their marital duty. Abusers often intimidate their victims with threats. A common one is if the victim does not meet the demanded need, the abuser will seek it out elsewhere. This pressure includes specific sexual acts the victim does not want to engage in. Additionally, it extends to forcing the victim to perform when they don’t desire to, are too tired, or are unwell.

Drugging another to make them more agreeable is also included within this list. Added to that is watching someone engage in sexual acts without consent. Even controlling or sabotaging birth control or not disclosing sexually transmitted diseases are forms of sexual abuse. The abuser uses this ammunition to convince their victim that they are “damaged goods no one else would want.”

In whatever way a victim is affected by their heinous crime, it is always a traumatic event. And most importantly, the victim is never to blame!

To Find Help

Help is available for any victim. Hope always exists! Healing work is long and hard but well worth the effort. This well-rewarding task opens the door to claiming your life back. One place to start is by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). Or you can chat online at online.rainn.org, National Sexual Assault Hotline: Confidential 24/7 Support | RAINN Their service is confidential and available 24/7. They will guide you toward your next step. Remember, you are worth the help.

To see more Crystalisms, go to  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1360983917796761.

Upcoming Posts

I hope you join me each week on this sensitive topic. We started this series with an introduction https://www.crystalmmhuntley.com/revealing-7-abuse-forms-can-you-see-their-signs/(opens in a new tab). Last week, I went over physical abuse https://www.crystalmmhuntley.com/physical-abuse-revealing-the-signs-can-you-see-them/(opens in a new tab). Next week, I will delve into psychological abuse. Financial abuse is the topic of week five, and religious abuse is for week six. In week seven, I will go over legal abuse. I’m saving domestic violence for week eight. This critical series wraps up in week nine when I provide resources and crucial steps to escape an abusive situation.

I pray this series adequately informs all who read it and need such vital help. I welcome questions and comments on any of my blogs. To do so, go to CONTACT THE AUTHOR – Crystal MM Huntley. Furthermore, I pray that all who indulge in my written creations find entertainment, enjoyment, and education. I also hope to inspire you to move forth in your healing journey.

To My Readers

Hopefully, you have gained value from this blog post. If you have, I would like to offer you the opportunity to purchase my book, The Hidden DiamondBUY THE BOOK – Crystal MM Huntley, and support my mission to break the chains of abuse. We all know someone who needs a gentle push to approach this sensitive topic. Maybe that someone is you. The Hidden Diamond provides a perfect, safe avenue. I invite you to join the multitudes who have discovered the value within the covers of The Hidden Diamond.

A Different Light Alexandra Another Reason to Forgive Back to My Story Boundaries Direct Forms of Religious Abuse Domestic Abuse Defined Emotional Abuse – an Umbrella Term Faith Shattered Forgiveness Does Not Mean to Forget. Free Giveaway From Robin’s Gift Grace Hope Invite Long-term Effects My Fight for You My Solution My Story Note To My Readers Perfection’s Curse Resources Robin’s Gift Robin’s Gift – A Sneak Peak Seeking Help Step Five Step Four Step One Step Six Step Three Step Two Take the Challenge The Hidden Diamond The Root Meaning of Sin The Scars of Abuse To Find Help To My Readers Two Other Forms of Legal Abuse Unveiling the Hidden Crime Upcoming Posts What Is Legal Abuse? Why Do I Forgive? Why I Share Why I Write You Are Worthy!

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