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Sexual abuse entails unnecessary sexual activity where the abusers could use force, make threats, or treat the victims unfairly by denying consent (Plummer and Findley 15-29). To the majority of people, it appears simple that if one partner is sexually abused in a relationship, she/he ought to get up and leave, or chase away the abuser.
Nevertheless, anybody that has been in a sexually abusive relationship understands that it is more intricate than that since there are different forms of psychological, social, spiritual, and financial hindrances to conquer.
This paper discusses the psychology of sexual abuse by explaining the reasons behind the victims of sexual abuse staying in the relationship. Such reasons could make the partner being sexually abused keep leaving and going back to the abuser numerous times.
The victim could have fears of what would happen if they choose to quit the relationship (Moyer 478-486). For instance, if the victim has been threatened by the abuser, members of the family, or friends, she/he might consider leaving unsafe.
Moreover, if the victim is in a same-sex relationship and his friends and family members do not know about it, the abuser could threaten to disclose the secret if he/she leaves. The fear of becoming an outcast could particularly seem frightening and unbearable for the young adults that are just starting to discover their sexuality.
The victim could feel convinced that the sexual abuse is normal. If the victim does not fully comprehend what a healthy relationship entails, possibly for being raised in a setting where such things as domestic violence are ordinary, they might fail to identify that the relationship is unhealthful.
The fear of facing embarrassment could make it difficult for the victims to reveal that they are encountering abuse. They might have a feeling that they have done something erroneous by being in a relationship with the abusive partner and be troubled that their family members and friends will judge them.
Being in an abusive relationship is an embarrassing and undignified encounter and will mostly leave the victim in shame (Moyer 478-486). The victim of the sexual abuse might have a feeling that they are failing their family, state of affairs, or even the abusive partner.
Leaving a sexually abusive relationship might also generate a feeling that the victim is throwing in the towel, owning up defeat, or accepting that the circumstances are beyond their capacity to address. Some victims could stay in a sexually abusive relationship due to the development of poor self-worth.
Several of the victims of a sexually abusive relationship have been in a failed relationship before and might start feeling dishonorable for having fallen for the wrong partner more than once. They could also develop the conviction that the blame lies squarely on them; because it happened with different partners, they cannot be all to blame.
If the abuser consistently puts the victim down and places blame on them for the abuse, it could be simple for them to become convinced about such statements and end up believing that the abuse is their blunder. A victim could also stay in a sexually abusive relationship with the hope that their partner will change for the better (Stockman, Lucea, and Campbell 832-847).
That is, since it a person he/she loves and says that she/he will change; they are compelled to believe it will happen no matter how long it takes. Such a victim could have a great desire for the sexual abuse to end and not for the relationship to cease completely.
Attributable to social and peer pressure, the victim of a sexually abusive relationship could find it impossible to leave or tell their friends about it for dread that no person will believe their side of the story or they might find it a non-issue. Usually, the victim could find it hard to classify herself as abused (Moyer 478-486).
While a victim could rebuff the existence of the problem and act as if all is well, they can end up believing that it is. The majority of the victims convince themselves that the situation is not out of hand, and that other things could be the cause, for instance, alcoholism or tiredness of the victim for being busy at the workplace.
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Cultural and religious reasons could make the victims of a sexually abusive relationship stay (Stockman, Lucea, and Campbell 832-847). For instance, traditional gender responsibilities could make it hard for a young woman to acknowledge that they are sexually inactive or for a young man to believe that they are sexually abused.
Moreover, the victim’s culture and religion might sway them to stay in the relationship instead of terminating it for the dread of bringing indignity on his/her family. The religious beliefs could convince the victim that marriage is meant to last for life, irrespective of issues such as sexual abuse, and that separation is evil.
Normally, the advice from religious leaders to the victim could be to continue with the relationship and be more submissive for a female victim and more loving for a male one. The solution by the religious consultants could be to become more fervent in prayer and become a better husband or wife.
Though at times this could be a solution, at other times it could just have the impact of promoting the sentiments of guilt and humiliation, while undermining the fundamental necessity for recognition and support.
The victim could also stay in a sexually abusive relationship because of the urge and pressure of raising the children that have both parents (Moyer 478-486). In other cases, the abuser could have threatened to stay with the children or harm them if the victim leaves.
Such pressure could develop the hope in the victim that things will soon become better. They might make it hard to let go of the vision of a happy family and offer the convictions that the abuser will change with time. In the attempts to hold on to optimism, the victim may clutch on to recollections of happy times with the idea that things will return to their normalcy.
Though it could be distressing to stay in it, it is not simple to terminate a sexually abusive relationship, and the majority of the victims choose to stay for different reasons. It is difficult to let go of an individual or marriage that one adores, and many victims cling to the hope that things will become better.
The decision to leave a sexually abusive relationship seems to pose great risks for the victim. On this note, if a victim makes the choice of leaving a sexually abusive relationship, it could be safe if they obtain the necessary support.
Moyer, Virginia. “Screening for intimate partner violence and abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults: US preventive services task force recommendation statement.” Annals of internal medicine 158.6 (2013): 478-486. Print.
Plummer, Sara-Beth, and Patricia Findley. “Women with disabilities’ experience with physical and sexual abuse: Review of the literature and implications for the field.” Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 13.1 (2012): 15-29. Print.
Stockman, Jamila, Marguerite Lucea, and Jacquelyn Campbell. “Forced sexual initiation, sexual intimate partner violence, and HIV risk in women: A global review of the literature.” AIDS and Behavior 17.3 (2013): 832-847. Print.