Specific Concerns for Survivors

1) Confusion concerning sexual orientation (the majority of survivors are heterosexual)

  • may believe that she was targeted because she is lesbian (regardless of if she is or not)
  • may base her homosexual orientation on sexually abusive experiences, especially if she experienced a sexual response, or her mother had a sexual response
  • may falsely embrace heterosexuality as a rejection of female-female sexual experiences

2) A deep need for a mother; shame, guilt and very low trust and self-esteem

3) Difficulty individuating from mother, feeling self is independent, whole

4) Given a cruel, negative role model and distorted representations of being a woman and mother

5) Confusion, rejection, and shame concerning her own sexual development as a female

6) Uncertainty over being a mother, and how to appropriately raise and respond to a female child

7) The stigma from society; the lack of information, validation, understanding for this form of abuse

Many survivors of mother-daughter sexual abuse have multiple abusers, both male and female. Regardless, the sexual abuse by their mothers often stands out as the hardest to accept and heal from, and the last abuse experiences to be remembered. The impact of that statement cannot be ignored.

* artwork entitled, Coming to My Rescue by Kristen, MDSA Member