Disclosure Fear & Secrecy

Secrecy and sexual victimization go hand in hand. Some of the reasons for this have been described, but let's try fill out the picture. Victims find themselves under tremendous secrecy-maintaining pressure - a fact which is poorly understood in our society, even by some investigators of sexual victimization. If you have been sexually victimized, then you know about this from your personal experience.

Fear of speaking openly about sexual victimization plays havoc with sexual assault investigations. The statutory (legal) side of abuse and the human side can be two opposing forces. Fear of speaking openly bottles victims up inside of self-injuring thinking and feeling patterns. It prevents the traumatic thinking from growing up. It blocks healing and recovery. It is called disclosure fear.

Fear of talking about what has happened to you (disclosure fear) is understandable. Pay attention here. If you have been suffering from disclosure fear, relax already - you're normal. Honour your feelings.

Honour your fear. It's just your life energy dressed up in thought habits. They can be overcome. It is what happens to human beings who are sexually victimized. It is surmountable. The first step in overcoming disclosure fear, is to understand how the secrecy thing works. The second step is disputing the fear-creating thoughts, at least until they are not immobilizing you. The third step is finding the right person to speak with.

The recipe for secrecy-maintaining has three ingredients:

1. External circumstances: people and systems 2. The secrecy of the victimization experience 3. Internal factors: the victim's mental set

Identifying your fears and naming them, is a good idea. It sets the stage for undermining the fearful thinking.

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