Sexual Assault

Devastation to that person
Image by Nicki Varkevisser CC BY 2.0 Cropped

Violation of your boundaries

This will take courage to confront

Today

Sexual assault has been exposed as a continuing problem across all societies. It often occurs in secret 'behind closed doors'.

Teachers are expressing concern recently with quite young children sexually assaulting other children - all while in the teacher's care. Because of the nature of the assaults, it is thought that the initiating child has been exposed to graphic pornography and is acting out what he has seen. A child cannot 'unsee' what he has been exposed to and so a life-long problem has probably been created for the child, which will probably impact the lives of others negatively.

Definition

Touch permeates all parts of the person being touched. Touch has the potential to impact the physical, energetic, mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual components of the human being.

Sexual abuse is a form of negative touch.

Cerio - Touch, The Unspoken Language - Healing from Sexual Abuse (Part II) [1] Cerio

Sexual assault is when another person deliberately touches you in a way that goes past your personal boundaries. This can include touching your genitals (penis and testicles) or touching your backside and can include sexual intercourse or exposing sexual body parts. Sexual abuse may also include forcing a child to look at sexual photos, pose for sexual photos or participate in pornographic (sexual) acts.

Sexual Assault is always against the law.

Sexual abuse affects the emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of the person. It is like a thief, violently robbing the spirit and thrusting the person into a state of shock, fear and grief. Lifelong changes are set in motion. The abusive act interrupts the natural developmental flow of the person, no matter what phase of life they are in. It injures the heart and soul. Common stresses can feel like matters of life or death. Life can become profoundly difficult and frightening. Life will never be the same. It can, and often does, take a lifetime to completely recover.

Cerio - Touch, The Unspoken Language - Healing from Sexual Abuse (Part II) [1] Cerio

Normal touch

How is touch like a language? Speech is a form of communication that we express through the medium of sound and receive through the sense of hearing. Touch is a form of communication that we express through the medium of physical contact and received through the tactile sensors in the skin. The type of speech can be Italian, Chinese, Hebrew, Gaelic, and so on. The type of touch can be a handshake, a pat on the back, a massage, or a chiropractic adjustment, to name a few. Like spoken language, the language of touch can be ambiguous and is always interpreted by the receiver.

Cerio - Touch, The Unspoken Language - Healing from Sexual Abuse (Part II) [1] Cerio

It is important not to confuse normal physical affection for sexual assault. Most people enjoy the loving touch of another person to nourish them emotionally – to help them feel good about themselves. This good type of touch however can sometimes cause an erection of the penis in boys – because anything at all can produce an erection in teenage boys! It does not mean the touch was a sexual assault or that there is anything wrong with the guy or wrong with the person touching him.

The fear of being seen as gay forces many boys to live in emotional isolation and miss out on this appropriate touch from others. This can progress to problems with the boy’s perception of himself being accepted as a male and all the flow-on effects from that issue.

Feelings of sexual assault

Often you are left with mixed feelings – Depending on the nature of the assault it might have felt good at the time or it might have been the most horrible thing that has ever happened to you. Either way you are left with all these mixed, mainly negative feelings. There may even be a freaky desire to repeat the situation because of the 'false intimacy' it produced. It can feel like you are finally close to another person if you haven’t been very close to other people before. It can feel like your need for love and attention has finally been met even if you have to endure the unwanted physical side of things again. On the other hand, the experience may leave you not wanting to get close to other people at all and you then go out of your way to avoid another similar encounter.

Assault showed you are gay?

Guys often wonder if they are gay because they got turned on when they were assaulted. 'Does this mean I am gay because I cum when this person sexually assaulted me?' Some guys will wonder what it is about them that attracted another man or sometimes a woman to come onto them in this sexual way.

No – it does not mean you are gay if you felt pleasure or even cum during the assault. Your body responds to touch, especially the parts of your body to do with sex. For example, your penis is very sensitive to touch and easily responds when you or anyone else touches it in a way to produce pleasure. The nerves in your penis don’t know whether you or another person is touching it. It is just programmed to respond in a sexual way and then to cum if the touching continues to that point.

No – it does not mean you are gay if another person chose you to sexually assault. It does not mean there is something about you that attracts gays or pedophiles. It does mean you were in a place that created an opportunity for the other person to satisfy their sexual cravings at your expense. It could have happened to any other young guy in the same situation.

Is God blind?

God gave every person a free will to do with their life as they want to – good or evil. There are consequences to every person’s choices both for that person and for those people around the person as well. An example is when a country’s leader goes to war – many will lose their life because of the decision of that leader. Your experience is also the result of another person's choices.

The Bible is clear that God hurts with you and is always in the business of restoring people to the position they should be in.

Come to me and I will give you rest—all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke (burden). Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.

What to do about the assault

Firstly – it has to be stopped from happening again. You have to take control of the situation where the assault might happen again. You must stop going to the place where the previous assault happened. If it is a boy or girl around your own age they might call you frigid or gay (especially if it was a girl coming on to you). If it is within your family, then you may even need to leave the situation with the support of a trusted adult or counselor or at least get help to stop the assault from happening again. Most countries have community or church groups, government departments and telephone help lines set up to help you if you find yourself in this sort of situation.

Are there any adult friends you can trust who you can tell about the situation? You need the support of a close friend (preferably adult) who you can trust completely and who will stand by you as you work your way out of the situation you are in. Nothing is so bad that you cannot talk about it. Counselors are used to dealing with these sorts of issues, so they won’t freak out when you tell them your story.

You have to take action to stop the assault from happening again. The action must be legal – trying to kill the person or burn their house down is not a suitable solution! There are better ways to deal with things.

Don’t destroy yourself by escaping the sexual assault situation and then going into a worse situation. For example, don’t leave home and then live on the street or at another house where you won’t be safe.

The situation you are in may be bad, but the decisions you make from here must be ones that ensure your protection and leave the way open for you to still have a fulfilling and safe life. Choose life – even if there are other easier options available to you to blot out your past while you are sorting this out.

Things you need to know.

It was not your fault. Another person has violated your boundaries and entered your 'personal space' without your permission.

Don’t torment yourself that it was your fault – even if you were actively seeking affection from the person at the time. Adults have the experience to know when normal affection can cross over to a sexual encounter and must be the ones to protect your personal boundaries.

You should seek professional counseling to overcome the effects on your mind and soul. This should happen fairly soon after the events and ongoing over a period of time if you later find you are having trouble overcoming the issues.

You need to forgive the person who wronged you and any others you perceive did not protect you when they should have. This is important and not easy to do. It means you choose to give up your right to pay back the person who wronged you. For your own emotional stability this step has to be taken otherwise you will suffer a life of unrelenting torment. A counselor friend of mine describes it this way 'everything inside you doesn’t want to, but it is a step of faith (for your future) to choose to forgive'.

Healing can begin when he recognizes the possible connection between those experiences and common reactions – reactions that often lead to rocky relationships, lost jobs, addictive habits, depression, and even violence.

The most effective way to restoration is to seek a good counsellor to work through the issues. I would personally recommend to invite God into your situation since Jesus came to heal the broken hearted and set the captives free. The support of a Christian counselor will greatly help with this step. They will also know how to dismantle the 'soul ties' that form when sexual activity occurs between two people. Still seek counselling from a professional who works in the area with sexual assault victims.

Legal issues

In most countries it is compulsory to report to the authorities if you have been sexually assaulted. Because this website is viewed all around the world, I can’t give detailed guidance for every country on the way the reporting is done. Google should be able to help.

Going forward

There is a way out from the situation you probably feel trapped in right now. You will probably need counseling to fully overcome the effects on your mind. There are people around who are experienced at listening and helping with sexual assault issues – they won’t think badly of you for asking for help.

Unfortunately, you can’t ignore the fact you were sexually assaulted as though it didn’t happen.

Research shows that 70% of sexual assault survivors experience moderate to severe distress, which is a larger percentage than for any other violent crime (NSVRC, 2015). The importance of seeking professional help and not engaging in avoidance behaviors cannot be understated. Avoidance is a short-term strategy to relieve yourself of distress, but unfortunately it creates much more severe long-term difficulties. Therefore, avoidance does not actually work.

More information

One in Six website
The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences live healthier, happier lives. Highly recommended
information from Psychology Today
Much more detailed information about the effects of sexual assault.
Book - Victims no Longer
Book - Stories and hope for recovery

References

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  1. http://www.thecerioinstitute.com/publications/touchpartii.html