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Feelings

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Children who have been sexually abused feel many different
(and often overwhelming) emotions, including:

  • Fear
    • of the abuser
    • of causing trouble
    • of losing adults important to them
    • of being taken away from home
    • of being "different"
  • Anger
    • at the abuser
    • at other adults around them who did not protect them
    • at themselves (feeling as if they caused trouble)
  • Isolation
    • because "something is wrong with me"
    • because they feel alone in their experience
    • because they have trouble talking about the abuse
  • Sadness
    • about having something taken from them
    • about losing a part of themselves
    • about growing up too fast
    • about being betrayed by someone they trusted
  • Guilt
    • for not being able to stop the abuse
    • for believing they "consented" to the abuse
    • for "telling"--if they told
    • for keeping the secret--if they did not tell
  • Shame
    • about being involved in the experience
    • about their bodies' response to the abuse
  • Confusion
    • because they may still love the abuser
    • because their feelings change all the time

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