As I have shared before, WordPress has a feature that enables me to track how people find my blog. I was floored to discover that over 100 searches for the topic of animal rape led to my blog. I never fully appreciated how great a need there was to discuss this topic. If you suffered from animal rape, you are not alone.
Animal rape is a particularly degrading form of sexual abuse. When a person rapes a child, the rapist supposedly gets some form of physical pleasure out of the act. However, when a rapist stands by and watches an animal rape a child, he is clearly experiencing no physical pleasure. Watching the rape is all about degrading the child. The child’s reaction to this is often feeling very deep shame.
It is difficult for a child to put into words what he has experienced. While no child abuse makes sense, having an animal rape a child makes even less. When you cannot even label what you experience, the event seems to take on a life of its own. By calling the act “animal rape,” a person can begin to wrap her mind around what happened and heal.
Many people do not realize that flashbacks do not have to be visual. You can experience a flashback with any of your senses. Some people who have experienced animal rape struggle with having flashbacks in which they feel the rape happening to their bodies again. They can become frightened by the flashback and not know how to make it stop.
If you are struggling with this form of flashback, reassure yourself that this is a normal reaction to severe trauma. Our brains are not the only part of our bodies that hold memories of trauma: Our bodies hold the memories as well. When you experience a body flashback, your body is trying to heal by releasing the memory.
If you have this form of flashback, do not fight it. Instead, allow your body to release the memory. Keep telling yourself that you are now in an adult body and that your abusers can no longer hurt you. After you allow your body to release the flashback, you will stop feeling the need to relive that experience.
You might also find yourself getting triggered whenever you see an animal like the one that raped you, or you might react when you see a particular breed of the animal, such as the same breed of dog used in the animal rape. This is a normal aftereffect of animal rape. Use the tools that you use to manage your triggers when this happens.
You might feel as if you are the only person on the planet who has endured an animal rape, but you definitely are not alone. Truddi Chase discusses her animal rapes by a dog in the book, When Rabbit Howls. I have met people on-line who have found the courage to share that they have endured this, too. You are not alone.
- Animal Sexual Abuse Survivors Website
- How to Heal From Animal Rape
- Recovering from Childhood Animal Rape
- The Shame of Animal Rape
- Talking with Abused Adopted Child about Severe Abuse
- Trauma Tuesday: Believing Your Traumatized Adopted Child
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt