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If the answers to these questions are yes, then this is when the control over your life is of a financial nature. You may indeed be entitled to money that you never see or get your hands on, because this is what your abuser has decided. Even if a bank account is in your name, you may still be denied access, to the money that is rightfully yours. You may be forced to work and then your wages are taken away from you. Alternatively, you may not be allowed to work, for fear that having your own money would enable you to be more independent.
Financial abuse takes place when you are forced to beg for money, to buy basic much needed things like food, soap, things for the children and other personal items. When the abuser believes there is no reason why he should not commit fraud, or theft against you, you are without a doubt, being financially abused.
This takes place when the victim is forced to participate in sexual acts. This includes being forced to have sexual intercourse against your will, which amounts to being raped. It can include being touched when you do not want to be touched or being forced to touch them when you don’t want to. When you are being forced to sell your body and receive unwanted attention from them, making you feel cheap, you are being sexually abused.
Sexual abuse can be one or the most devastating forms of abuse for the person involved. Perhaps one of the reasons is because sex is always meant to take place, within the context of a loving relationship between consenting adults. Whenever this therefore takes place violently, and against the victims will, (typically characteristic of when rape takes place), it is not only traumatic, but it is also soul destroying. It often encompasses all the other forms of abuse simultaneously, such as physical, mental, and verbal, which makes it particularly effective. The victim is left with the feeling of once again being pathetically defeated. There is often little hope that things will ever change when all dignity and respect is lost at such a basic human level. The victim feels violated and powerless, as the abuser forcefully takes what he wants, knowing that it is not freely or willingly given. The victim is forced to participate in unwanted sexual activity, because as far as the abuser is concerned, the victim’s choice is an irrelevant consideration!
For the victim however, this is a complete nightmare which they can’t seem to wake up from. They feel dirty and guilty that they allowed this atrocity to happen to them. At the same time, they feel that they were completely powerless to have stopped it from taking place. They often blame themselves and are tormented by thoughts that perhaps, they should have done things differently, screamed louder, and fought back harder.
Sexual abuse can occur just because the victim is being forced and manipulated into watching pornographic material. Abuse comes into play when the victim’s right to choose has been snatched away.
Michelle Thompson an MP for Edinburgh West shared her experience of been attacked and raped, when she was only fourteen years old. She was a victim of someone she knew. She talked about what she went through and how the experience made her feel. She decided to share publicly about her ordeal in parliament. She said it was because as an MP, she wanted to give a voice to people who are unable to speak out in the same way. She really wants the focus to be on effecting change for many other women, who still suffer in silence.