Author Archives: Antonella Gambotto-Burke

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