Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

While there are many reasons persons maintain the secrecy of their sexual abuse, chief amongst them may be shame, a sense of complicity and intimidation.

With regard to shame, many persons who were victimized by childhood sexual abuse come to believe that the abuse is somehow a reflection on them. They come to mistaken beliefs that owing to their victimization, they may be less of a person. How this can come about is understandable even though misguided.

It is understandable in that the experience of childhood sexual abuse leaves the child with the mistaken impression that their worth and value are limited to or reduced to that of a sexual object for the gratification of others. They as a person beyond their availability for the sexual gratification of the other are of limited value and they are tainted in the eyes of others, the outcome of being spoiled goods by…

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