HS_Girl_Hugging_JesusCommon Issues stemming from many abusive relationships: 2

Using economic power to control you
Threatening to leave
Making you afraid by using looks, gestures or actions
Smashing things
Controlling you through minimizing, denying and blaming
Making light of the abuse and not taking your concerns about it seriously
Continually criticizing you, calling you names, shouting at you
Emotionally degrading you in private, but acting charming in public
Humiliating you in private or public


Results of verbal and emotional abuse, from the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness: Withholding approval, appreciation or affection as punishment Issues of child sexual abuse: 3 Issues of adult sexual abuse:
  • A distrust of her spontaneity
  • A loss of enthusiasm
  • An uncertainty about how she is coming across
  • A concern that something is wrong with her
  • An inclination to reviewing incidents with the hopes of determining what went wrong
  • A loss of self-confidence
  • A growing self-doubt
  • An internalized critical voice
  • A concern that she isn’t happier and ought to be
  • An anxiety or fear of being crazy
  • A sense that time is passing and she’s missing something
  • A desire not to be the way she is, e.g. “too sensitive,” etc.
  • A hesitancy to accept her perceptions
  • A reluctance to come to conclusions
  • A tendency to live in the future, e.g. “Everything will be great when/after …”
  • A desire to escape or run away
  • A distrust of future relationships
Table Cell
  • Changes in behavior: withdrawal, fearfulness, crying without provocation
  • Night sweats with screaming or shaking, and nightmares
  • Regression to more infantile behavior: bedwetting, thumb sucking
  • Loss of appetite or other eating problems
  • Poorly explained injuries: bruises, rashes, cuts, genital pain or bleeding
  • Sudden reluctance to be alone with a certain person
  • Unusual interest in or knowledge of sexually related matters; inappropriate expression of affection
  • Emotional reactions: Emotions such as fear, shame, humiliation, guilt, and self-blame are common and lead to depression and anxiety.
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress
  • Survivors may experience intrusive or recurring thoughts of the abuse as well as nightmares or flashbacks.
  • Distorted self-perception
  • Survivors often develop a belief that they caused the sexual abuse and that they deserved it.
  • Chronic and diffuse pain, especially abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Lower pain threshold
  • Self-neglect
  • Eating disorders have been attributed to childhood sexual abuse.
  • Adults abused as children are four to five times more likely to have abused alcohol and illicit drugs
  • They are also twice as likely to smoke, be physically inactive, and be severely obese result in self-destructive relationships.


2 Dr. Phil Abusive Relationships: Are You in an Abusive Relationship

3 Dr. Phil Child Sexual Abuse Warning Signs and Resources

4 Nicole P. Yuan, Mary P. Koss, and Mirto Stone National Resource Center on Domestic Violence The Psychological Consequences of Sexual Trauma

5 Adult manifestations of childhood sexual abuse. Committee Opinion No. 498. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2011;118:392-5. (2011)

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