Emotional Consequences of Sexual Abuse

Category : Sex Addiction Information

Emotional Consequences of Sexual AbuseSexual abuse often traumatizes survivors, who will experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Denial
  • Blame
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Anger
  • Powerlessness
  • Helplessness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

With such a variety of emotional impacts, it is important for survivors to address each emotional component to heal fully.

How to Address Powerlessness from Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse occurs in staggering numbers, but many people have sought 12-step programs to treat the powerlessness that results. The basic steps have been adjusted to include the following ones:

  • We affirm we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security
  • We come to believe that a higher power awakens the healing wisdom within us when we open ourselves to that power
  • We decide to become our authentic selves and trust in the healing power of the truth
  • We examine our beliefs, addictions and dependent behavior in the context of living in a hierarchal, patriarchal culture
  • We share with another person all everything we feel shame and guilty about
  • We affirm and enjoy our strengths, talents and creativity, striving not to hide these qualities to protect others’ egos
  • We let go of shame, guilt and any behavior that keeps us from loving ourselves and others
  • We make a list of people we have harmed and people who have harmed us, and take steps to clear out negative energy by making amends
  • We express love and gratitude to others, and increasingly appreciate the wonder of life and the blessings we have
  • We promptly acknowledge our mistakes and make amends when appropriate, but we do not cover up, analyze or take responsibility for the shortcomings of others
  • We seek out situations, jobs and people that affirm our intelligence, perceptions and self-worth, and avoid situations or people who are hurtful, harmful or demeaning to us
  • We take steps to heal our physical bodies, organize our lives, reduce stress and have fun
  • We seek to find our inward calling, and develop the will and wisdom to follow it
  • We accept the ups and downs of life as natural events that can be used as lessons for our growth
  • We grow in awareness that we are interrelated with all living things, and we contribute to restoring peace and balance on the planet

Understanding denial and finding a strategy to regain your power is extremely important for you to heal from sexual abuse.

Help for Emotional Consequences of Sexual Abuse

If you have been sexually abused, you need help to heal. Please call us before you turn to drugs or alcohol for temporary relief. There are several viable treatment programs for you, even if you have started to abuse drugs or alcohol, so call us any time of the day on our toll-free, 24 hour helpline. Our counselors can provide information about treatment.