There are several hypotheses on why re-victimization happens. Children come to view themselves as “damaged goods” who don’t deserve or shouldn’t expect better. Abused children aren’t able to recognize safe from unsafe people, and if they do, they don’t have the internal or external resources to protect themselves from danger.
In a recently published study, a team of researchers from the University of Washington found that substance misuse, particularly blackout drinking, predicted incapacitated sexual re-victimization.
This is all something that many of us recognize, if not in ourselves, than in other survivors we have known. And I do believe that seeing ourselves as damaged is a big part of that, which is sad because surviving should teach us that we are strong, and can survive anything.
That’s the truth we struggle to learn.