Sexual Assault and Birth Trauma: Interrelated Issues

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A host of corresponding sensations and dynamics may be present during birth and during sexual abuse. Physical, emotional and environmental similarities between the original experience of birth and sexual abuse imbue these traumas with common symptomology, feelings and life patterns. The "terrain" of both traumas is the body which often stores both memories and affect. Later sexual abuse traumas often become merged with earlier birth and prenatal traumas. In the therapeutic setting the symptomology, abreaction and artistic expression of these two issues can be highly similar. These issues and concerns have only been briefly dealt with in the literature. Only a handful of clinicians, consulted during the preparation of this paper, were familiar with or knowledgeable about significant psychological relationships between sexual abuse and the trauma of birth.


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