The Long Shadow: Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse

It seems you can’t turn on a TV these days without hearing about childhood abuse. References to “the dysfunctional family” are so common they are almost a cliché. 

But behind the cliché is the sad reality: some families are poisonous for children. Childhood abuse, particularly when severe, can cast a long shadow over your life influencing your emotional state, and how you relate to others.

 Even when not abusive, families can be dysfunctional in other ways, such as having a chronically depressed, mentally ill or substance-abusing parent. 

Your upbringing may have left you poorly equipped to parent your own children. In this chapter, I describe one of the most common types of abuse and family dysfunction, and how these experiences could be affecting you.

 Types of Childhood Abuse

Child abuse takes a wide variety of forms, and can range from mild to severe. Even competent parents make mistakes, and have challenges and difficulties. 

Abuse can occur inside the family, and with people who are not family members. By and large, however, the experiences I am describing occur within the home. In severely dysfunctional homes, it’s not unusual for several types of abuse to occur at the same time. 

For example, someone who is sexually abusive is often physically abusive as well. In families where there is partner abuse, there is also likely to be parental depression and substance abuse. What seems to be important, across all these types of abuse, is the overall level of severity and degree of family pathology.


Neglect is by far the most common type of child maltreatment. Unlike physical or sexual abuse, where something is actually done, neglect is failure to do something. Types of neglect include not providing food, clothing or medical attention. It can include failure to supervise, provide a safe environment or provide proper education. (Unfortunately, families who home school are often harassed under the education portion of the neglect laws.)

Not surprisingly, neglect is often related to parental substance abuse and depression. Families who neglect their children are often chaotic. Parents don’t seem to be able to “get it together” to provide food or appropriate clothing for their children. In Beth’s family, both her mother and father were alcoholics. She was frequently hungry because her parents spent the money they had on alcohol.

Neglect is often thought to be solely a function of poverty. However, while poverty certainly accounts for some neglect, it is neither fair nor accurate to imply that all poor people neglect their children. There usually is something more, especially in chronically neglectful homes. 

In a paper entitled “The Psychological Ecology of the Neglectful Mother,” Polansky and his colleagues (Polansky, Gaudin, Ammons, & Davis 1985) specifically addressed the issue of poverty in child neglect. In their study, they gathered a group of mothers identified as “neglectful” by social services. They then found another group of mothers who were not neglectful, but had the same income level, education, marital status, ethnicity, and even neighborhood as the neglectful mothers. What they found was illuminating. The mothers identified as neglectful were depressed, had few friends, and seemed unable to take advantage of resources that were available to them in their communities.

Depression in mothers and fathers is also related to neglect. Recall from chapter 2, that depression influences a mother’s ability to interact with her children. One interaction style is “avoidant.” Avoidant mothers disengage from their children, and ignore them much of the time. The other style, “angry-intrusive,” is a risk factor for physical abuse (I’ll discuss this in a minute).

Neglect also happens in the suburbs, and in more subtle forms. Food and clothing may be provided, but the parent might be emotionally absent. Parents may show little interest in their children. Mothers or fathers may have been so emotionally immature that children must care for them, rather than the other way around.

 Parents can also be so uninvolved that they fail to notice when something really serious occurs in their children’s lives. Both Marilyn and Sandy were raised in middle-class homes with neglectful, substance-abusing mothers. Both were raped as teens by kids from their schools. Neither of their families noticed the abrupt change in their behaviors that occurred as a result of being raped. They never asked what was going on, or why their daughters were acting so strangely.

Today coose to make a difference, embrace a soul provide a healing hug you never know what someone is going thru.

Join me by showing compassion to someone that never knew compassion, together we can make the world a better place and provide hope for the broken , the battered, or the abused soul.

Nikki Navarro

Read More

Domestic Violence Rises During Pandemic

By Nikki Navarro

During the pandemic, we’ve all been asked to stay home to keep ourselves safe. Offices were closed, stay-at-home orders were enforced, and personal liberties were limited. To protect ourselves from the virus, we were told to seek safety in our home. For some people, home is far from safe. Those who suffer at the hands of intimate partner violence (IPV) have found themselves trapped in a prison. Instead of being safe at home, IPV victims have found themselves trapped indoors with their abuser. It’s been a concern voiced by professionals, politicians, and advocates since the beginning of the pandemic. In this article, we’re looking at the realities of domestic violence during pandemic times.

It’s difficult to judge the impact that the pandemic has had on levels of domestic violence. It’s easy to identify why. While the number of calls to domestic violence hotlines has dropped by more than 50% in some areas, we know this is due to limited opportunities for victims to safely connect with these services. 

This trend isn’t universal, and we’ve seen a rise in instances of domestic abuse and violence against women and children across the world. The first two weeks of the pandemic saw an 18% rise in calls to domestic violence hotlines in Spain than the month before. In France, police have reported a 30% increase in domestic violence during pandemic times, with officers being asked to stay vigilant for signs of IPV.

Keeping people inside their homes has led to more dangerous situations where cases of IPV have skyrocketed. We know the number of IPV victims has increased as a result of the pandemic, but it’s almost impossible to narrow this down to a statistic. Violence against women and children can take several forms, including emotional, physical, psychological, or sexual. One in four women and one in ten men suffer from violence at the hands of intimate partners. 

COVID-19 has created what’s been described as a “perfect storm”. Research carried out by the charity Women’s Aid has found that 91% of victims of domestic abuse have said that the pandemic has negatively impacted them in at least one way. 61% said abuse by intimate partners worsened during the pandemic. For these victims, it’s the lack of access to refugee spaces and support services that has led to them feeling trapped. This research also found that 67% of women experiencing abuse by intimate partners said the pandemic had been used as part of the abuse. 

Intimate partner violence is a public health crisis that is spiking as a result of the pandemic. This fact isn’t shocking. Research has shown that cases of domestic violence increase when families are spending more time at home together, such as during the Christmas holidays. At the start of the pandemic, the United Nations called on governments to “put women’s safety first as they respond to the pandemic”. 

The pandemic has exasperated social inequalities and deprivation, which often correlates in higher instances of IPV. While it’s true that IPV does not discriminate across socio-economic and cultural divides, it disproportionally affects marginalized and minority communities. These groups suffer from economic instability, lack of childcare, and unstable housing situations. These social factors can make tensions run high and create situations where IPV can occur. The pandemic has aggravated these issues and increased the risk of instances of IPV.

One form of abuse by intimate partners comes from financial coercion. Victims of IPV often find themselves financially entangled with their intimate partner and put in a position where they don’t have financial independence. The pandemic has led to job losses in almost every industry. Women minorities and those without a college education are the most impacted by rising unemployment per statistics.

IPV also encompasses violence against women and children, who find themselves in the firing line with at-home schooling becoming the norm during the pandemic. COVID-19 has seen a rise in cases of child abuse as virtual learning and child care problems drive up tensions at home. One consequence of at-home learning is that it prevents fewer opportunities for intervention or others to recognize the warning signs of abuse. 

This reality exists for all victims of IPV, with the pandemic limiting the contact they have with people who could report the behaviour on their behave. IPV screenings can be carried out on patients who arrive at a health facility presenting signs of abuse. The pandemic has shifted in-person medical appointments to telemedicine platforms and skype calls. These appointments no longer offer an opportunity for victims to report their abuse, as their intimate partners are often in the room with them. 

The realities of the pandemic have also made it harder for victims to seek out support. Women’s shelters are operating with limited capacity, and some hotels are only open for emergency services. Limits on travel have made it almost impossible for victims to travel across the country or state to seek safety with friends or family.

Domestic violence during pandemic times has put a spotlight on the social and economic factors that lead to violence against women and children by intimate partners. As the world begins to open up again because of the vaccine rollout, public health agencies and domestic violence organizations will see a spike in victims accessing services. On the other of this pandemic, we have an opportunity to address these social and public health issues that so often exacerbate the circumstances that lead to IPV. 

What the pandemic has shown is the need to promote and highlight continued access to services and support. Both from charities and medical professionals, for victims of violence by intimate partners. 

If you find yourself in a situation like this, there is support out there to help you. Charities are still working, medical professionals are there to help, and hotlines are open. You’re not alone – there will always be people there to help. Our website includes community resources that you can avail. Help is out there. No one will judge you. Speak out and seek out help please stay safe. 

Read More


Holding Hands And Praying At Bible Study Group Meeting In Community Center

By Nikki Navarro

The Women’s Ministry is designed to help women become empowered and heal from all kinds of expressions of oppression, loss, and sorrow.  For example, the Women’s Ministry can help you if…

  • You’ve ever lost a loved one or experienced dark days of grief, wondering if you carry on without them.
  • You’ve ever received a scary diagnosis about a disease or injury and faced the pain and uncertainty of what will happen next.
  • You’ve sat the bedside of a dying friend whose life had was cut short from the ravages of cancer or some other deadly disease.
  • You’ve been to a funeral for a baby, child, or other close family member, and you’ve watched the sorrow of the others in attendance. 
  • You’ve been deeply wounded, betrayed, abused, mistreated, and rejected by a partner or lover.
  • You’ve ever experienced any extremely difficult situation and have wondered if the anguish and fears you have felt will ever end.

In short, the Ministry is designed to help you through any of these and other oppressive experiences in your life to help you heal by knowing you will get through it, and you will have a caring, supportive community with you to transform yourself and achieve your purpose and fulfillment in life.  

We understand that along the way, you may experience great hurt, like passing through a intense fire.  But then, consider that like a fire walk over burning coals, where you have the focus and fortitude to know you can do it.  For it’s like a purifying bath cleanings your soul of past sorrows and grief, so you come out feeling renewed and restored and ready to attain that happiness you deserve. And often a belief in a divine power can help you heal and make you whole.

I know this is possible because I was stripped of everything in 2015 after an abusive relationship filled with violence followed by a devastating financial collapse in the Great Recession.  But then, at the point where I felt utter despair, I found a new hope in a Church that had spiritually mature women elders who lifted me up offered the motherly love that I had lacked throughout my life.  And most importantly, I came to feel and accept Gods love for me as a newborn child who was born again. So then I experienced restoration, redemption, and a new personal relationship with God through my newfound faith.

After I went through this healing and transformation, my career took off and my husband and I began a successful new business flipping homes and I resumed my insurance career to a newfound success.  

So now, while I love my career, I also have this burning desire to draw on my experience to help women from all the world by empowering them to rise above their limitations, overcome any experiences of oppression, and know that they will find their true purpose in life and attain the happiness and fulfillment they seek.

So now I invite any women who feel the call to join with me and the community of women who are joining together through this ministry to escape any past oppressions and fears and help each other become like shining stars who can glow in the heavens with their new sense of mission, power, and joy.


Read More


Financial Control

By controlling money in a relationship, abusive partners prevent freedom. They may take earned money and not allow access to it, or watch over every penny. Preventing employment is also control.

Verbal Abuse

Abusive partners may lie, threaten, intimidate, disrespect, and manipulate their partner. Verbal attacks are an abuser’s attempt to maintain control and may be an early sign of a rocky relationship.


Stalking isn’t just for ex’s. Some abusive partners monitor their partner’s every move. From phone trackers to hidden cameras to constant texts and calls, this behavior is another form of control.

Sexual Abuse

Forcing sex, sabotaging birth control and physical violence during intercourse are ways of exerting control over a partner. Sexual exploits may serve as blackmail against the victim for seeking help.

Technology Control

Hacking into social media accounts, devices and email is a form of surveillance- and control. It communicates to the victim that she/he can’t have privacy or freedom. It also makes it hard to signal for help.

Physical Abuse

This is a non-verbal threat that if the abuser isn’t satisfied, there will be more pain and punishment. Intensity and frequency tends to increase over time. Healthy relationships don’t involve punishment.


Verbal and non-verbal threats of harm to others like family and friends keep victims afraid to seek help or leave. If recorded or witnessed, these threats may be useful in court against the abusive partner.


If the victim is dead, they can’t tell others about what’s been going on. Murder is the ultimate cover-up to a history of abusive and violent behavior. It’s also the most damaging for everyone involved.

Read More
Police in Cancun Mx

Cancun police shoot down a feminist manifestation

Cancun video #NiUnaMas 2020 Protest Cancun police shoot down a feminist manifestation

The agents burst in with their weapons in hand and shouts of “Now the f****ing women are going to f**k off.” Two journalists are treated for gunshot wounds

Police officers advance firing during the protest. (PHOTO: ELIZABETH RUIZ/ AFP | VIDEO: EPV)


MÉXICO – 10 NOV 2020 – 01:36 GMT-6

On Monday, a group of about 50 municipal police officers from Cancun shot down a feminist demonstration in front of the Municipal Palace in the tourist city. A man in a hooded uniform wearing a bulletproof vest and a long weapon suddenly started shooting at close range in the central square a few meters from the protesters. At least two journalists covering the protests suffered gunshot wounds. Roberto Becerril from La Verdad was hit in the shoulder and Cecilia Solís from Radio Turquesa was hit in the foot by a bullet.

At that time, about 2,000 young people protested in front of public buildings in response to the three brutal killings of women registered in Quintana Roo this weekend. A group of protesters set fire to the woods in front of the passage to protect the building. In the past, young people broke some windows and burned the paper inside.

When the protesters were about to enter the building, the policemen appeared opening fire with a clean shot, which caused the stampede. However, they persecuted and continued to beat those who tried to record the brutal attack. The agents made several arrests, beat and tried to take phones and cameras from journalists covering the protest. Another two journalists had to be treated in a hospital due to the beatings of the police, their colleagues told EL PAÍS.

Alex Castro, from the newspaper Novedades, who was covering the protest for his newspaper, explained that there were about 50 agents in the plaza. Half of them started shooting. “When the bullets began, the police had blocked the two main entrances to the square to prevent us from leaving,” he said an hour after what happened.

The photographer of the newspaper Novedades, Paola Chiomante, told EL PAÍS that she saw agents firing from the roof of the Municipal Palace. According to the photojournalist, the police “were very angry and acted with disproportionate violence” and recalled how she heard the officers shouting “now if the fucking women are going to be worth mothers”, at the time when the uniformed men appeared in the square.

For its part, the official response only agrees on one thing: stand out from what happened. No one has so far assumed responsibility. The Secretary of Public Security of Quintana Roo, Alberto Capella, ordered an investigation into what happened. “What happened in the Municipal Palace of Benito Juárez is in every way unacceptable. I am ordering an internal investigation and making all the information available to the State Prosecutor’s Office to do the same, “he wrote on Twitter.

Feminist anger accumulated grievances throughout the weekend when two women were murdered in less than 24 hours in Cancun and another in José María Morelos, also in the state of Quintana Roo. After an intense search, the bodies of the Cancun women were found Saturday and Sunday night with signs of torture. The latest, the savage murder of Bianca Alejandrina, had a macabre ending this Sunday. The 20-year-old girl had disappeared on Saturday but her remains appeared a day later inside an abandoned plastic bag in a neighborhood of Cancun.

Today’s protest had been called by the Quintana Roo Feminist Network and had become a national trend through the hashtags #JusticiaParaAlexis and #QuintanaRooFeminicida, as a protest against the prosecutor Óscar Montes de Oca, the governor Carlos Joaquín González and the Mayor “Mara” Lezama, for dedicating efforts to “care for the image” of Cancun and not to the safety and protection of women.

For her part, the mayor of Cancun, Mara Lezama, of the ruling Morena party, also distanced herself from the aggression. “In my capacity as municipal president, I will never order any type of repression against the citizens. I have given precise instructions for the corresponding investigations to be carried out ”, she pointed out. Yet another authority that avoided her responsibility, the Ministry of the Interior, demanded an investigation via Twitter from the municipal and state authorities “to the end of the repression and armed aggression against a feminist demonstration,” she wrote on her social network.

So far this year there have been a dozen femicides in Quintana Roo, according to the EFE agency, citing sources from the Prosecutor’s Office. At the national level, Mexico registered 34,608 malicious homicides and 1,012 femicides last year, the highest figures since the murders of women have been counted.

Read More

Intimidate Partner Violence

Intimate partner violence, which falls under the broader umbrella term of domestic violence, affects more than 12 million people every year, and disproportionately impacts Black and Indigenous women, and more according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. It has historically been seen by many as something that happens with older, married couples, or something that involves only physical abuse, like a black eye, the organization said.

In reality, it is something that cuts across all social and demographic lines and can also occur through control and manipulation that is not as easily visible to the outside world, it is also not easily detected

“We have these myths or stereotypes in our head of a typical domestic violence abuser and victim, who they are and what they act like, but everybody is at risk,” she said. “People would be very surprised to find out just how prevalent it is and how many people they know who’ve experienced it at some point.”

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is abuse or aggression that occurs in a romantic relationship. “Intimate partner” refers to both current and former spouses and dating partners. IPV can vary in how often it happens and how severe it is. 

Please follow me on social media, and here on my website your solidarity goes a long way, let’s create awareness

there is much work to be done to pass coercive control laws for victims of intimidate partner violence.




Read More

The Layered Effect of Covert Emotional Abuse and Double Abuse is traumatic

Abuse and violence cross geographical and cultural boundaries and social and economic strata. It is common among the rich and the poor, the well-educated and the less so, the young and the middle-aged, city dwellers and rural folk. It is a universal phenomenon.

Abusers exploit, lie, insult, demean, ignore (the “silent treatment”), manipulate, and control.

There are many ways to abuse. To love too much is to abuse. It is tantamount to treating someone as an extension, an object, or an instrument of gratification. To be over-protective, not to respect privacy, to be brutally honest, with a sadistic sense of humour, or consistently tactless – is to abuse.

To expect too much, to denigrate, to ignore – are all modes of abuse. There is physical abuse, verbal abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse. The list is long. Most abusers abuse surreptitiously. They are “stealth abusers”. You have to actually live with one in order to witness the abuse.

Help me spread awareness please follow my website and social media solidarity means much to abuse survivors

let’s spread love, kindness




Read More

Only half of women in developing world have body autonomy


Whether it’s sex, health care or using contraception, women in developing countries lack control over decisions affecting their bodies, the UN says. Attacks includes rape, forced sterilization and genital mutilation.

Almost half of women in 57 countries around the world are denied the freedom to decide on what to do with their own bodies, the United Nations said in a report on Wednesday. This includes issues around sex, contraception and health care.

The My Body is My Own study lists attacks on women, including rape, forced sterilization, virginity tests and genital mutilation.

The head of the UN’s sexual and reproductive health agency (UNFPA), Natalia Kanem, said: “In essence, hundreds of millions of women and girls do not own their own bodies. Their lives are governed by others.”

Those other decision-makers may include partners, family members, society and government.

Rape ‘not always prosecuted and punished’

The underlying issues are often based on structural, societal problems, such as social taboos around sex (for women) and entrenched patriarchy, she said. This leads to male relatives having power over women’s choices, Kanem said.

Please join me in Solidarity for Women’s rights to free them from oppression.

Join Nikki for equality in relationships.

please read articles:

Read More

The Covert Narcissist

 Warning Signs of the Abuser You Never See Coming

When it comes to romantic relationships, resilient people have this one thing in common. Quite often, they don’t discover that they’ve been enduring actual abuse until their psychological resources are nearly depleted, which takes a great deal longer than others without their strength. It’s not that they don’t see signs or fail to identify toxic behavior. 

They simply have a knack for working around problems, rising above them, and pushing through them for the sake of achieving their relationship goals. In the meantime, these abusive relationships do take their mental, emotional, and physical toll. By the time a remarkably resilient person stumbles across an article or book, hears a podcast episode, or consults with a therapist who is able to accurately describe the dynamics of their abusive relationship and give it a label, they are mind-blown. 

However, it may make some of us even more vulnerable to certain unhealthy dynamics, patterns, and forms of abuse. One such form is narcissistic abuse. It’s important to explore the link between resilient and narcissistic partners because they are likely to pair up with each other, setting the stage for an abusive relationship. The true danger lies in the fact that the narcissist has ulterior motives from the start while their unsuspecting partner is unaware that manipulation will play a primary role throughout their relationship.

Your Resilience Might be a Magnet for Covert Narcissists

Narcissists are attracted to empathetic individuals that have a positive outlook on life and see the best in others. Because narcs lack the ability to truly empathize with other people’s experiences, they see this quality as a commodity. While it’s been a widely held belief that narcissists pursue individuals that are weak or easy, the more strong-minded and resilient you are, the more appealing you may be to a narcissist. You may have survived some traumatic experiences and cultivated the strength to support others. Being educated, successful at work, and healthy at the outset of a dating relationship or marriage are qualities that many narcissistic abuse survivors possess. Other common qualities include being kind, loyal, generous, and willing to give unconditionally once they feel securely connected to their partner. Since narcissists need a constant supply of attention, admiration, and validation, these attractive qualities signal to a narcissist that their specific needs will be met.

High emotional intelligence is another common quality that narcs are attracted to. You may be wondering how individuals with high emotional intelligence are unable to spot the red flags and patterns of a narcissistic abuse relationship more quickly. While there is a pattern to many abusive relationships and narcissistic abuse relationships are no exception, all narcissists are not created equal. The approach of a covert narcissist can easily go undetected if you are unaware of what behaviors to look for. Let’s look at the 3 general stages of narcissistic abuse as well as several specific ways that a covert narc might deviate from more traditional behaviors in a romantic relationship with an extremely resilient person:


Read More

Signs of Love Bombing

Love bombing is often romanticized in TV and movies. The typical story involves an uninterested character who is being pursued by an eager suitor. The pursuer consistently violates the uninterested character’s boundaries until they fall in love and decide to be together. However, this unrealistic depiction of a relationship is actually a story of love bombing and how it can manifest in real life.

So what is love bombing? According to Psychology Today, “love bombing is an attempt to influence another person with over-the-top displays of attention and affection.” This kind of behavior is a form of emotional abuse, and although it can be experienced during any stage of a relationship, it is often seen in the early stages of getting to know one another. It may seem like your new partner really likes you, but love bombing can often serve as a warning sign of an unhealthy relationship.

Finding a partner that feels like a perfect fit is gratifying. But it can take time to really get to know your partner. When love bombing occurs, often labels such as “soulmate”, “their person,” or “their other half” are applied early in the relationship. While it may feel validating to be considered as an important figure in their lives, it could be a cause for concern if you have not known them very long, or if you feel uncomfortable. Even being told “I love you” within a couple of weeks of starting a relationship can be a red flag. If you feel unsettled about how fast you’re moving, it may be time to speak with your partner.
Read More

The Invisible Trauma Abuse Wounds

Within every community, toxic people can be found hiding in families, couples, companies, or from persons you’d least expect. The cryptic nature of psychological abuse involves repetitious mind games played by one individual or a group of people.

Psychological abuse leaves no bruises. There are no broken bones. There are no holes in the walls. The bruises,
brokenness, and holes are held tightly buried

Deep within your soul
Battleground Emotional States of the Heart become strongholds. I suffered both physical , and mental abuse, psychologic abuse was the worst.

My giants were rejection, fear, shame, guilt, anxiety , i took those giants down it was a fierce , nothing could numb the emotional pain that is

Until i met true divine love in it’s purest form, stay tuned for my book release

Join me in building up a broken soul



Read More

The Science of healing

FOR many of us, the term science implies something we are happy to leave to the academically advanced. It may pique our interest at times, but that’s about the extent of our involvement. There is a Science, however, that applies to Christianity: the Science of Christ, or Christian Science. It relates to the living demonstration of the timeless truth put forth by the Saviour, Christ Jesus, and it enables us to heal spiritually.

If we wonder how Science can apply to Christianity, we might consider the following questions: Did Jesus understand the nature of God and man? And was he able to prove the truth he taught?

The answer to these questions obviously has to be yes. His healing works demonstrated his understanding of God’s supreme power and goodness. They demonstrated his understanding of the true nature of man as spiritually whole and indestructible. His works made his divine mission scientific in the highest sense. His example was far in advance of our present level of spirituality, yet he expected us to follow him. He said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.”

Join Nikki offer someone a kind word, a healing hug, together we can ensure our families grow strong in faith that

Is rooted in God’s Love for you and I.

Read More

Reconsider Your Beliefs About Depression

Unfortunately, there is a great deal of stigma surrounding mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and other disorders. One way that you can reduce feelings of embarrassment or shame about your condition is to reconsider some of your beliefs about depression.

For example, people sometimes believe that depression is a choice or something that they can simply think their way out of. This ignores the underlying causes of depression and trivializes the very real nature of the condition.

One way that you can do this is by learning more about depression itself. Exploring informative resources that are aimed at reducing stigma can help you learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for depressive disorders.

Join Nikki by expressing compassion towards a soul today, spread love, kindness.

Depression hurts reach out love heals

Read More

What’s sexual assault and what’s rape?

Rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse can have different legal definitions. In general, rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse are forms of violence in which there is sexual contact without consent — including vaginal or anal penetration, oral sex, and genital touching.

In the U.S. the legal definitions of rape and sexual assault vary. Some states use these terms interchangeably, while others define them differently. Often, people will use the term “sexual assault” to refer to any kind of non-consensual sexual contact, and use the term “rape” to mean sexual contact that includes penetration.

Anyone can be a victim — no matter their gender, sexual orientation, or age. But certain groups of people are more likely than others to experience sexual assault in their lives. Minority Women  LGBT identified people, and people with developmental disabilities are more likely to experience sexual assault over the course of their lifetimes.

Sexual violence doesn’t happen in one single way. There doesn’t need to be a weapon involved and the victim doesn’t need to have fought back, screamed, or said “no” repeatedly in order for it to count as rape or sexual assault. Most sexual assaults don’t happen by strangers in dark alleyways. Often, it’s someone the victim knows or even a romantic partner. If you or someone you know has experienced this type of violence, you’re not alone, and help is available.

Join Nikki for justice we deserve to live a life free of oppression


Read More

The Physical and Psychological Effects of Spousal Rape

Perhaps the relaxed social perceptions and laws surrounding spousal rape are fueled by the belief that it is uncommon. Unfortunately, the data says otherwise. Research shows that approximately 10-14 percent of married women in the United States have been raped by their husbands. The consequences of such rapes are no less dire just because the perpetrator is a spouse. Indeed, women who are raped by their husbands suffer severe and long-lasting physical and mental health problems.

The Bizarre Legal Loopholes Surrounding Spousal Rape

Many states still have archaic laws that allow for spousal rape.

The physical effects of spousal rape often include injuries to vaginal and anal areas. Vaginal and anal tearing, pelvic pain, urinary tract infections, miscarriages, bladder infections, infertility, and the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases are often reported among spousal rape survivors (Campbell & Soeken, 1999).

Other bodily injuries are also common. For example, Campbell and Alford (1989) reported that 50 percent of the spousal rape survivors in their study were kicked, hit, burned, or stabbed while being raped. Many survivors go on to report lacerations, soreness, bruising, torn muscles, and broken bones (Adams, 1993).

Also important is the relationship between spousal rape and unwanted pregnancies. Approximately 17 percent of spousal rape survivors in one study reported experiencing an unwanted pregnancy; and 20 percent of those women went on to experience miscarriages or stillbirths (Campbell & Alford, 1989).

The psychological effects of spousal rape are also severe. Indeed, given that spousal rape survivors are likely to experience multiple assaults, and because they are raped by someone whom they once presumably loved and trusted, it should come as no surprise that these survivors suffer extreme and long-term psychological consequences (e.g., Kilpatrick et al., 1988). Common effects of spousal rape include anxiety, shock, depressionsuicidal ideation, disordered sleeping, and PTSD (Stermac et al., 2001). Women raped by their intimate partners are actually more likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety than those who are raped by non-partners (Plichta & Falik, 2001). Research has also shown that spousal rape survivors experience more long-lasting psychological effects, with some survivors reporting flashbacks, sexual dysfunction, and emotional pain for several years after the violence (Bennice & Resick, 2003).

Tying it All Together

As COVID-19 confines victimized spouses to the home, it is likely that instances of spousal rape will experience a rise commensurate with increases in overall domestic violence. This should give us pause and provoke a critical examination of the existing legal loopholes surrounding spousal rape. In a perfect world, marriage would embody only the harmony and bliss that we all grew up envisioning for ourselves. But the harsh reality is that some marriages are riddled with emotional abuse and physical violence. In fact, many experts now refer to violent and controlling behaviors in marital relationships as “intimate terrorism.” Perhaps this terminology offers a more apt descriptor for the terror that some spouses experience on an everyday basis. If we widely recognize and condemn the terror of domestic violence, shouldn’t we also denounce the terror implicit in non-consensual sex?

Reference link :

Join Nikki in her vision of justice for Women, we deserve to live a life free of oppression

Read More