Loving an adult survivor of child sex abuse

“For most people, when they were abused it wasn’t by somebody who jumped out of the bushes, but by somebody they had a trusting, loving relationship with. A sense of trust got merged with a sense of betrayal when it comes to their sexuality. The closer they get to someone, here comes that trust issue. So they pull back emotionally and sexually.”

- The Aftermath of Child Sex Abuse

“In this climate of profoundly disrupted relationships the child faces a formidable developmental task. She must find a way to form primary attachments to caretakers who are either dangerous or, from her perspective, negligent. She must find a way to develop a sense of basic trust and safety with caretakers who are untrustworthy and unsafe … She must develop the capacity for initiative in an environment which demands that she bring her will into complete conformity with that of her abuser. And ultimately, she must develop a capacity for intimacy out of an environment where all intimate relationships are corrupt, and an identity out of an environment which defines her as a whore and a slave.”

― Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror