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How do women react to experiencing violence?

Women usually experience violence as a private crisis. Many survivors feel isolated because of lack of support or because sexuality and victimization are shrouded in shame in our culture. This evokes a difficult set of reactions from women who have been raped, battered, sexually harassed, abused as children, robbed violently, or hurt by other forms of violence. Some common reactions to trauma are:

  • Self-blame and feelings of shame and guilt
  • Fear, terror, and a feeling of insecurity
  • Anger and rage
  • Anger turned inward, depression, and suicidal feelings
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Physical symptoms
  • Self-harm
  • Grief and loss
  • Loss of control and powerlessness
  • Isolation
  • Flashbacks and nightmares
  • Sensory triggers
  • Dissociation
  • Changes in sexuality and intimacy
  • Spiritual crisis
Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

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Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

America's best-selling book on all aspects of women's health With more than four million copies sold, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" is "the" classic resource that women of all ages can turn to for...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.