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Dating a victim of sexual abuse

They may feel powerless, ashamed, and distrustful of others.

A leading researcher on the psychological causes and effects of shame, June Tangney, lists five ways shame can be destructive: Tangney notes the link of shame and anger.

"In day-to-day life, when people are shamed and angry they tend to be motivated to get back at a person and get revenge." In addition, shame is connected to psychological problems – such as eating disorders, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders as well as problematic moral behavior.

In one study over several years, shame-prone children were also prone to substance abuse, earlier sexual activity, less safe sexual activity, and involvement with the criminal justice system.

Survivors may feel anger at the abuser, at adults who failed to protect them, and at themselves for not having been able to stop the abuse (page 1).

Victims may experience traumatic sexualization,because the abuse has repeatedly violated their body space and acted against their will through coercion and manipulation (page 3).


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