Shame is a common experience among survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It is a condition imposed on them as opposed to being initiated by them. The internal response of shame is not because of what they have done but because of what they have been led to believe about themselves. A survivor churns with self-condemning questions of:
- Was I not worth enough for anyone to notice what was going on?
- Was it because I was so bad on the inside that I was touched as I was on the outside?
- What are they doing glancing at me now?
- Can’t I just go somewhere and hide?
Spouses of survivors also experience shame because they feel disconnected in their marriage. They also feel disconnected from community with others as they are left wondering if anyone could ever understand their marriage relationship.
This 10-minute video introduces survivors of childhood sexual abuse and their spouses to four common responses to shame imposed by the sexual abuse.