I. Most victims of sexual abuse suffer as children or youth tend to react in one or more of the following ways:
Feel guilty and almost totally responsible for having been a victim.
Feel isolated from their family and peers.
Have held it inside and told no one or only a very few people.
Have become confused about their identity and goals in life.
Have been depressed for a long time and don't understand why.
Are plagued by many fears, especially about men.
May have turned to intellectual, religious, or other pursuits to escape or cope with life.
May have been promiscuous at some time in their life.
May have thought extensively about suicide or may even have attempted it.
Have not been able to separate their responsibility from the perpetrator's responsibility.
May have run away from home, gotten married early, or have been involved in drugs, etc. feeling this is to be their "only way out".
Crave love and affection from a father figure.
Have become bitter, angry, and resentful towards Church leaders, other male authority figures, even God- or may have gone in the opposite direction.
May have developed multiple health problems.
Have become a frustrated, unhappy, depressed housewife with sexual problems in marriage.
Have become a vulnerable target for someone else to abuse, such as a spouse, or other males.
Developed a hysterical approach to life and situations.
II. Most Adult Victims Feel:
Confused about identity, angry at self and others, guilty about everything they have ever done, thought or had done to them.
They can't separate what's been done to them and what they've done.
Afraid of men, doesn't trust other woman.
Frustrated and confused about life and goals.
Depressed but doesn't know exactly why.
Doesn't trust own judgement.
The world would be better off without me.
Hurts all the time- exhausted.
Can't keep up with everyone else.
Everyone is looking at me and can see right through me.
III. Most Adult Victims:
Can't make decisions.
Allow others to abuse them further.
Always take the blame, accept guilt.
Try to be "Patty Perfect".
Have sexual problems in marriage- frigid, disinterested, or over interested in sex.
Seeks affection inappropriately.
Have many health problems.
Afraid to let men in close.
Cranky, angry, abusive, afraid.
Repulsed by sexual activity.
Very active in Church.
Very compassionate with other people.
Service does not build self-esteem.
Can't accept compliments.
Able to sacrifice anything for kids or husband- yet won't take time for self.
Husband may be non-supportive or self-centered.
Many of the symptoms are similar to adolescence.
Usually behave in a dependent helpless manner when it comes to solving every day problems.
Feels victimized by normal life happenings.
Sees the world as fear-filled.
Has many exaggerated fears.
Anger and fear towards men.
Many can't remember the good times of childhood- some even block out all childhood memories.
Anger towards mothers for not protecting them from abuse.
V. Indicators of Sexual Abuse as Adult Women for Priesthood Leaders:
Overwhelmed continuously by family responsibilities- stress overload.
Depression (deep and/or excessive).
Guilt (for everything).
Doesn't feel loved.
Feels scriptures apply not to self but to others (those pertaining to forgiveness and love).
Feels scriptures (negative) apply to self (those pertaining to repentance, Heavenly Father's disappointment, etc.).
Difficulty in communication.
Constant need for approval.
Any rejection can be devastating.
Chronic physical ailments.
Lack of self-esteem.