Nobody wants to be a victim (okay, some people like complaining a lot about their lives, but that is different). Real abuse happens in cults and in some one-on-one relationships, and it is not something anyone would ever choose. 

In many cults, there is this idea that there are no victims. And you know what's great about that (for the cult leader - not its members)? The leader can do ANYTHING to its members, and they cannot say no. Ironically, cult leaders often complain about somebody from the outside
world or within the cult doing something that is not right to them.

”The term "victim" is not very popular in some circles, particularly the new age philosophies which are seeping into universities and other institutions. To admit to being a victim in such a culture is very difficult and takes a certain amount of courage, as there is a strong tendency to blame the victim. Many people equate being a victim with being helpless, wallowing in self pity and being out of control. This is not what I am talking about when I say I was a victim of mind
control while involved with Scientology. And I don't believe that this is what any other victims of cults are saying either."  Read the full article BLAMING THE VICTIM by Monica Pignotti

Most physical wounds heal, however, the emotional ones are much deeper and harder to spot. Just like a physical wound, the healing process requires understanding the emotional wounds. 


For victims of abuse, please remember that you are STRONG. You survived the abuse, and you
will survive the recovery.



Psychological / Emotional Abuse:


"Psychological abuse can be just as devastating as physical abuse. Psychological abuse can affect your inner thoughts and feelings as well as exert control over your life. You may feel uncertain of the world around you and unsafe in your own home. Psychological abuse can destroy intimate relationships, friendships and even your own relationship with yourself."

For the whole article, go to heatlhyplace.com



Sexual Abuse:


"Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent. Most victims and perpetrators know each other. Immediate reactions to sexual abuse include shock, fear or disbelief. Long-term symptoms include anxiety, fear or post-traumatic stress disorder."

Read more at apa.org.


Children / Incest:


When you live so close to others, as in a cult, with a lack of personal boundaries, it helps to understand childhood sexual abuse in the context of incest. Most likely, the grown up who abuses, is also seen as a father or mother figure. The lines blur. Any sexual abuse will bring with it shame and hatred towards oneself, along with a sense of "why couldn't I stop it?". Incest is especially vicious. It leaves the child wondering if they wanted it to happen. Because how could somebody they know, a parent figure, do this to them? But the fault is never with the child. NEVER.


Check out Pandora's Project.



Physical Abuse:


"Physical abuse is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body. Sometimes abusive behavior does not cause pain or even leave a bruise, but it’s still unhealthy."


Read more at loveisrespect.org.


Spiritual Abuse:


This falls under mind control and pyschological abuse. Just add fear of a vengeful God, spiritual wisdom, or claims of higher knowledge. Often it includes extremist thinking, rigid rules, and harsh consequences for misstepping. It leaves followers with a deep sense of unworthiness and something is wrong with them and needs fixing. Love and attention is condiational, being saved is conditional. Often there is a strong emphasis on recruiting more people. 

"There are countless numbers of cults in America and across the world. One of the common threads that ties them all together is the sexual exploitation of women." 


Read article on Religion's Cell.

"Recovering from a sexual assault or abuse is a process, and that process looks different for everyone."


Resources at RAINN Network