Sanctuary for the Abused

Monday, May 16, 2011

Why Abuse Survivors Attract The Wrong Sort of People

Because: Predators Hunt the Wounded

An abuse survivor e-mailed me saying how she seemed to attract men who want to exploit her. On the other hand, good people seem to run from her. Tragically, this is the common experience of abuse survivors. I have always puzzled as to why this is. She sent me a couple of photos of herself. Then something clicked. I was a little gentler, but here is the essence of my e-mail to her:
Your photos, though nice, give the impression that you are sad, shy, lacking in confidence and aching for love. An evil man might look at those photos and think to himself, "Her need for love and for a boost in self-esteem seem so overwhelming that if I let her think that I could meet these needs, she would be so scared of losing me that she would find it hard to resist the urge to do anything I want. If I initially treat her tenderly and kindly and flatter her, I'll have a good chance of turning her into virtually my slave. I could then treat her however I wish."

If, on the other hand, a man saw you as happy, confident and relatively content, he'd assume you are quite choosy as to who you relate to and how far you would go. He'd assume you have none of the desperation that pressures some women to compromise their morals to get the love they crave.

Not only could this be a factor in men with evil intent being attracted to you, it could cause good men (or good women) to feel tempted to try to get their way with you. Because they are honorable, they might run for fear that if they stayed close to you they might yield to that temptation.
Regardless of how resistant to sexual pressure she really is, a person with low self-esteem and who craves love gives the impression that she is vulnerable to seduction.

Upon finding such a person, immoral men feel emboldened to test their suspicion that they have found someone they could seduce.

To resist sexual advances, a woman craving love and lacking in self- esteem needs far superior self-control to that of other women, if she perceives that she must yield to those advances in order to receive the love she desperately needs.

Furthermore, an abuse survivor is strongly tempted to accept the lie that because she has been mistreated before, she has little purity left to protect. This lie is yet another burden weighing down abuse survivors.

Moreover, in addition to these strong pressures, she will find resisting an evil man much harder than other women find it because she has a history of having done everything possible to resist and she was still overpowered. Her past tragedies cause her to lose hope that she could ever successfully prevent a man from exploiting her. She feels sure that any attempt to resist would be a futile waste of effort.

Sexual & Emotional predators know this, so they are on the look out for abuse survivors. A tragically large number of abuse survivors have mistakenly thought that perhaps they have low morals or are evil or that God is against them, since that they seem to attract sexual predators. This is most certainly not so. The thought is so obviously incorrect that, theoretically, there should be no need to deny it.

Sadly, it needs to be spelt out because predators are skilled at cruelly manipulating tender consciences, causing their victims to have a mistaken view of themselves. The truth is that abuse survivors tend to attract repeat offenses simply because they are hurting; and sexual predators, like beasts of prey, think the wounded might be an easier target.

If sexual predators imagine they have a chance with you, it means nothing. Simply by refusing their advances, you can prove them wrong.

Knowing why the wrong sort of people might try to exploit you can be a relief. The is nothing wrong with you other than the simple fact that you are hurting. I am sure what you really want to know, however, is how to prevent this attention. It's easy to say that self-esteem, confidence and feeling loved is the answer, but the difficulty is knowing how to grow in these things.

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shared by Barbara at 12:10 AM



Thanks for this. It's far too late to resist his advances but I've been able to mend it so that it shouldn't ever happen again. It's slow work and may never end, but well worth it.

5:01 AM  

I am not an abuse survivor, but I care for someone who is. We met 5 years ago, if I get a calendar out I can figure out the date. We met at a transgender support group; she's a 34 yr old mtf and I'm a 24 yr old ftm. Three months before we met she was attacked late one night after coming out of work. It was someone she knew and she never turned him in. It broke her soul. She sees a therapist to this day, and it has made a big difference. We dated for a short period after meeting, but I was immature and stubborn, and she didn't know how to open up yet. I had moved away to another town for three years, and now I'm back. We are just as close before, but I'm more mature. I have always been protective of those few I open up to and care for. She is one of them. I have been watching her in her protective shell, and remembering the few things she has told me about being hurt originally, and then failed relationships afterwards. I physically get chest pains when I look at her, and I see the pain she's in, and no one has done anything to help her, including myself. I need her in my life, because she brings me peace, which no one else can do. She is the one woman for me, that lights up my world.

I have been researching abuse survivor articles. I came across one by soul expressions abuse recovery. My friend has PTSD, dissociative disorder, and all of the things I don't know enough about just yet that come with abuse. She gave some great insights into how survivors think and feel. I saw my friend in the behaviors she described, and she also gave tips on how to just sit back, relax, and just let them set the speed of everything and have almost complete control. That was interesting for me, because I'm an ISTJ, so I love control, it comes naturally, but for her I will drop all control and give it to her. I will be the silent one she can lean on when she feels like the world is too much. Reading what you wrote here, wasn't so much informative as infuriating. When I transitioned to male I never understood the concept of a predator. One day I was walking down an empty hallway except a woman was ahead of me and I could tell she was on edge. So I let her hear my movements and hear me move to a room and leave the hallway. I figured I could go back out once she had left. When I sat down it hit me that I had become the enemy, something to be feared. It horrified me, saddened me, and royally pissed me off. These predators cause unspeakable horrors, cause so much damage, and then we as non-predators are left to try and help these victims. It makes me want to become a masked vigilante and go out at night to beat the crap out of these guys. Another aspect of the ISTJ is we are problem solvers, we enjoy fixing things. But I feel so helpless when I can't just fix things for her, and heal her wounds. I defended her one time verbally and she told me not to do it again afterwards. I'm not sure, I'm still learning, but I think she thinks she's not worth protecting.

I'd love to find a network either here in town or online to consult when she shuts down. She won't talk when it happens, and she's dissociative so she disappears too, her work usually stresses her to that point.

I know now that I just need to go slow, and gently; let her have the control to make decisions, and have time to mentally prepare. It may take years to finally be allowed into her inner space, but she's worth it. My best friend, an mtf also cares for a abuse survivor, who is also a ftm, and he was abused numerous times before he transitioned. So, my best friend and I have been relying on each other to try and navigate this new aspect to our lives. I've sent her all these articles I've found, including yours.

Thank you for posting. Sorry for the length, I just needed to get that off my chest.


10:30 PM  

This was a very nice article. It was nurturing, provided a solution to the problem and supportive.

This sight and any other site related to solving problems should contain this.

The problem and the source in which it came from which can easily be verified.

How to identify the problem in the future.

How to solve the problem before there problem becomes your problem.

Nip these sicko's in the bud.

By engaging in any perpretrators especially a strangers behavior, you are encouraging it. If it is familiar and learned behavior to do this as soon as it becomes obvious to you, get out. If you are getting something out of it to, mutual stimulation from antagonism, sex, money, fame, fortune, a trophy husband, etc you are perpetuating the problem that is growing like weeds in this country and Europe. American was not always like this. There was a significant change to evil in this country probably onset of the first WW and has grown like a virus since our present day.

Family is a bit different, but one thing with a family unless it is truely the Godforsaken, which I know none of first hand, then one can change this and survive it with the help of trusting and having faith in GOD and using the Book of Proverbs in the Holy Bible as your guide. You cannot go wrong. It is the only free and true freedom to evil as we may call it.

10:58 PM  

Thank you for this. It really does help and will be great for helping me find myself again.

7:43 PM  

Thank you for this.At 52 I thought I had worked past all of it.I got out of the abusive marriages past ,corporate assault,past the lover who reeled me in then found fault ,then reeled me back,then found fault etc.Past the long attraction where i simply basked in lovers glow but it never grew but I had kept some boundaries leaving myself intact and none the worse.Then out of the blue a physical attack from an officer who allegedly had misidentified me.And the following attempt at shaming me from my housing advocate.So on I go But I do believe my lovingkindness shall be spent on those that don't abuse from now on.

5:29 AM  

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