Shame of sexual assault

Shame of sexual assault

I’ve never met anyone male or female who didn’t feel ashamed when they had experienced sexual assault. When somebody is sexually assaulted, they feel extremely vulnerable, this vulnerability creates a sense of inadequacy. The feeling of inadequacy creates a feeling of shame and very often it becomes a secret of shame. Shame, we see in many different ways, shame creates irrational thoughts, shame creates a reaction that is not necessarily what we would normally do or feel. Shame can create feelings of being “bad” if you like, or dirty, stained, tainted with the brush of shame.


Reactions differ, sometimes the person believes the only thing that’s wanted by another is their body. The only part of them that interests another is their body, nobody good would want more than their body. They are worth only their body. In fact, why would anyone want a body that has already been “used”. That’s Shame. All hurt themselves in differing ways. Their brain constantly thinking of the things that they would do, anything to stop themselves thinking.


Sexual assault can happen to male and females

Cutting oneself.

So they cut themselves. “My body is already damaged, doesn’t matter if it’s damaged more”.

The focus it takes to cut and the pain caused by the cut mean, just for one minute, I don’t have to think about how awful my body is, how Ashamed that I deserve to feel.

The mind for one minute feels free from Shame. My body doesn’t like the pain, my body doesn’t like being hurt, my body stops me thinking about feeling Shame for one minute and changes Shame for physical Shock, but at least I made it happen, giving me control, not the person that made me feel Shame.

Now I wear long sleeves, tops that cover everything so no one can see my Shame.

The only difficulty is that once cut, the mind pauses, feels the pain, sees the self-harm and feels often, even more, Shame.

Weight Gain.

“If I eat more, I will get fat, no one will find me attractive. If I eat more, I won’t bring attention, if I eat more no one will come near me. But at least I’m in control, makes up for feeling no control. Yet I look in the mirror and now see nothing, but more shame”.

Weight loss.

“If I eat less, I can become invisible, I can disappear, no one will notice me, I can hide and never be seen as I can’t bare anyone to see my Shame”.


Low Self-esteem.

I won’t tell, hard enough to hide, who will believe me, they will think I could have gotten away, I could have screamed, but shame of not being able to, shame of shock preventing me, shame of not being strong enough to fight off, Shame of being powerless and despising my incapacity to fight back.

Shame I’m not good enough.

Sex. Promiscuity.

Some use what someone wanted so badly, “they took it, so surely it’s the best way to a man’s heart”.

“It’s all they wanted, so it must be the best I can offer”. “Nothing else mattered about me then, why would that change now” “they will only not reject me if I give them sex, I’m good at that”. That’s all I’m worth. Shame.


An old word, a cruel word, a word in my honest opinion that is outdated and critical in sound.

The avoidance of intimacy. The fear of being entered and took, rather than given, the terror of being controlled even with no desire to control.

The avoidance of closeness, the fear of rejection. If I’m not good enough, you won’t want me, so I will withdraw so I’m simply not in a position to feel and be rejected again. My feelings ignored, my shame of my past. You can’t love me, they loved me, they hurt me, I won’t let you love me, you can’t love me, so I will reject first. At least I have control and don’t have to feel Shame. But I do as I can’t be in a relationship. And everyone wonders why. They don’t know I feel shame again.

Shame, the most damaging feeling, yet the Shame belongs to no one, but the perpetrator, no one, but the person who has no conscience, who holds hate in their heart, their own Shame appears through dominating another.

The perpetrators of Shame. The shame of their inadequacy is reflected onto the person they control in the moment of the assault. They feel power where they were powerless. They use control to stem the feeling of inadequacy. Their own lack of control. Their anger is not containable, their shame is a dangerous shame, their shame hurts others. Their shame, they pass on. They refuse to be ignored, they refuse to be invisible, they refuse to be insignificant. They are angry enough to place their own Shame directly onto others.

The only difference is one hurts themselves, the other creates more Shame. They are the dangerous Shame. They are the perpetrators of Shame. They are Shame itself.

Survivors of assault. You need to get angry, but to channel your pain and anger into the refusal to accept the Shame of your perpetrators. To allow your pain, but destroy the shame. It was a horrendous gift so throw it away and give it back to the person it truly belongs to the perpetrators of shame.

I have been counselling for over 20 years – completing an extensive amount of hours of therapeutic work which reflects my experience within the field of psychotherapy, counselling, mediation and relationship therapy.

Siobhan is located in South Woodford, London.

Book a session with Siobhan.