My focus on treating sex offenders as well as victims of sexual assault is that I don’t want anyone to be a victim. In my mind the only way to bring that about is to treat the needs of potential offenders before they offend. I am the survivor of pre-natal trauma. As best I can put it together, my mother was traumatized while I was in the womb. When you think of a victim of trauma, a child in the womb would be the most vulnerable of victims. Not only was I unable to defend myself but I was unable to see my attacker. My defense was solely dependent on my mother’s response. And the abuse I experienced was not only mine but that of my mother as well. So in a sense I was totally blind sided and in some respects I see that as what happens to victims of sexual assault. Their attackers are generally people they know and trust.
So what I have here from the earliest stages of my consciousness is the feeling of not being accepted, of being inferior, of not being able to defend myself, of being blind-sided and of wanting to please so that the beatings would stop. And these feelings coming through the filter of woman, wife and mother. It is this pre-natal abuse to which I credit my sensitivity to women’s issues and my profound sense of empathy. The result being that I want to protect my daughters and my mother.
The realization that I had experienced early trauma came to me while in therapy after an abusive marriage. I had recurring nightmares as a child and until my thirties considered them to be just that. In my thirties I got into metaphysics for awhile and it came to me that these nightmares might actually be a birth memory. I thought that pretty cool. After all, how many people have memories of their birth? When I related this to my therapist a concerned look came over her face. She told me that memories like that only come from early trauma. And when we looked at the symptoms of pre-natal abuse I had a multitude of them: Signs in Adults of Early Trauma. Those symptoms being: difficulty in forming and maintaining a healthy primary relationship with a partner, inappropriate flight or fight response to non-threatening circumstances, difficulty in setting healthy limits and boundaries, saying ‘no’ when appropriate as well as staying as far away from family as possible. I can’t go back and change the event. If I could it would be to promote healthy relationships, respect for all people, and equality across the gender, social, and economic spectrums. Preventing Sexual Assault.