Overcoming the Psychological Effects of Exploitation
What happens to an individual who has been sexually exploited by a professional whom she relied on and trusted? As discussed in previous chapters, there is a substantial likelihood that once a victim has been betrayed by one professional, she will have difficulty trusting another professional, whether or not from the same discipline. A victim's reaction is often similar to that of a child who has been exploited by a family member or friend, or a woman who has been raped by an acquaintance: her willingness, or perhaps her ability to trust, is shattered. Although she now really needs to be able to reach out for services, her capability to do so is severely damaged. She does not know whom, if anyone, she can trust. Too often the consequence is that she trusts no one. Without treatment, this lack of trust can last forever. The first task for a victim of exploitation is to find someone to talk to, ideally a professional experienced in dealing with the effects of traumatic experience. People who are untrained in working with trauma sometimes do more harm than good.
Like a victim of violent crime, a victim of exploitation finds herself becoming obsessively preoccupied with what has happened to her. She