Are you experiencing any of the following?
- Forced to engage in sexual activity
- Pressure for sexual activity
- Having sex to avoid your partner getting angry or violent
- Being physically forced into sexual acts
- Being forcibly touched in a sexual manner
- Being pressured into sexual acts that you do not enjoy
- Your partner hurting you during sex
- Asking your partner to stop during sex but they continue against your wishes
- Your partner telling you that there is something wrong with you because you do not enjoy sex with them
- Being made to feel that their is something wrong with you because you are unhappy with your sex life
- Your partner expressing that if you do not have sex when they want it, they will leave you or have sex with someone else
- Someone forcing you to have sex for money
Sexual Abuse has a long history in our culture. The objectification of women in previous generations established a system where a woman’s rights were significantly unequal to that of her husband. Recent years have seen a dramatic turn around in this line of thinking and behavior, however many of the underlying belief systems are still occurring. Historically, women have been seen as property more than people. They have been a commodity to be traded, an item to be purchased, or entertainment to be enjoyed. While society no longer accepts these practices as appropriate or legal, many people have inherited views that are similar to these.
Both men and women alike have expectations of their partner. Each person enters into the relationship with their own ideas and value systems. Sometimes these expectations can be unhealthy and abusive. The view that sex is a “women’s duty” to her husband or that she is “required” to have sex when she doesn’t want to is one such example of a sexually abusive relationship. Other examples include being blackmailed into sexual acts, forced to have sex with someone against your wishes, your partner hurting you during sex against your wishes, not stopping when you ask to stop, or being “sold” to someone else for sexual purposes.
Most common among sexually abusive behavior is that of being pressured into sex. The person feels like they have to engage in sexual activity whether he or she wants to or not to avoid being emotionally abused. Another extremely common issue is being told that if you do not like sex, there is something wrong with you. If you believe that you need to have a “good reason” to not have sex you may be in an abusive relationship, and it may be time to think about exploring this with your therapist. Not all sexual abuse is violent, much of it occurs through emotional abuse and mind games and may not be easily recognizable.
Sexual abuse is not limited to heterosexual couples. Same sex couples are in just as great a risk to be in a sexually abusive relationship as heterosexuals. If your partner makes you feel guilty or gets angry that you do not wish to have sex or preform a sexual act then you may also wish to speak to a therapist at Noyau Wellness about exploring the health of your relationship.
Sexual abuse, like all forms of abusive behavior, has a primary focus of power and control. The abuser seeks to dominate their victim by taking away their choices, belittling them, and/or physically injuring them. While some forms of abuse are overt and easily recognized, others are more subtle and rarely noticed until the victim is immobilized by exposure to abuse.
Therapists at Noyau Wellness have specialized training and experience in working with victims of sexually abusive relationships. We understand what a confusing and painful time this can be for you. Working through your feelings with a professional can expedite the healing process allowing you to finally move forward. At Noyau, our therapists strive to create a collaborative relationship in a safe and secure atmosphere so that you may achieve the successful and fulfilling life you deserve.