Sex and The Impact of Violence

The Impact of Violence

Violence and sexual assault can have a deep impact on a woman's life including her sexual responses and relationships. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact or attention. It can also include name-calling or anything that makes you feel bad about your sexual self or physical appearance.

Even if the abuse happened a long time ago, it can still influence your relationships with others, although your current partner may be loving and supportive. If a woman has been assaulted or abused she may:

* not want to be touched
* feel like she will never enjoy sex again
* not be able to relax during sex
* have disturbing memories of the assault(s) that may be triggered in some sexual situations
* feel emotionally detached from her sexual activities
* feel shame or self-conscious about her body

These feelings can be very painful for a woman and for her partner(s). It is not unusual for a woman having these feelings to also feel angry with herself or her partner. If you have these feelings, you should not try to deal with them alone. Therapy can help a survivor of abuse deal with her feelings and may ultimately help her find a healthy way of participating in sexual relationships.

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