62 20th annual crime prevention guide ...Handbook on Sensitive Practice continued Characteristic • Abuser(s) and others blame or denigrate the victim engendering a sense of shame or guilt • The abuser and others pressure child for secrecy • The victim feels “damaged,” “abnormal,” “bad,” which may contribute to a distorted sense of self and lowered self-esteem TABLE 6 Traumagenic dynamics of childhood sexual abuse Stigmatization • Dysphoria or chronic depression • Stigmatization, isolation, and marginalization may contribute to substance abuse • Criminal behaviour • Failure to care for oneself (e.g., risk-taking behaviours, poor hygiene, poor health practices) • Self-harm or self-mutilation Dynamics Possible Manifestations • Unwanted invasion of one’s body or personal space can interfere with the establishment and maintenance of healthy boundaries and increase risk of repeated victimization • Abuser(s) may use violence, threats, trickery, or bribery to involve their victim • If others do not believe and respond appropriately to disclosure of abuse, an individual may develop a lowered sense of efficacy • Some victims develop a high need for personal control and may even identify with the abuser Powerlessness • Hyper-arousal (i.e., chronic anxiety, phobias, tendency to startle easily, irritability, poor sleep) • Intrusion (e.g., flashbacks during waking states, traumatic nightmares during sleep) • Constriction (dissociation to endure danger that one is unable to fight off or escape) -alters perception, sensation, and time sense and may result in avoidance of reminders of the trauma, emotional numbing/blunting, detachment, and an inability to experience joy • Stress-related disease and illness; chronic and/or vague somatic problems Adapted from Finklehor and Browne with permission of D. Finkelhor. Need help right now? Call to speak to a counsellor 1-800-668-6868 Kids Help Phone 24/7