Whether you’re just beginning your healing journey or you’ve been working on it for a while, this self assessment tool naturally helps you create a plan for your healing process.
Initially when you take the assessment, it will help you to acknowledge the many ways your experience of childhood sexual abuse has impacted your life. Survivors often share that they had never connected many of their current patterns with their past abuse. For some, It can be overwhelming to acknowledge the impact so practice good self care and complete the assessment in a safe place when you’re free to spend some time with it. Maybe do it with a therapist, a good friend, or another survivor if you feel like you might need extra support.
Although it can be overwhelming for some, the assessment process is also very enlightening and empowering. You will see on paper, maybe for the first time in your life, what areas you can focus on to improve your wellbeing. There is an endless supply of resources available, so let the assessment be your guide to researching the resources that will help you heal.
For those who have been on their healing journey for a while, we recommend you complete the assessment twice, the first time acknowledging how your childhood abuse impacted your life overall and the second time noting how it is still impacting your life. We often fail to give ourselves credit for the work we’ve done and how much we have grown and healed. So let the assessment be a reflection of your progress and take the time to celebrate your success!
Consider completing the assessment once or twice a year to help you stay focused on moving forward and proactively seeking resources to help with specific opportunities for healing.
Survivor’s Self Assessment
Check all bullets that apply and circle specific items within bullets that apply:
- Fear of being alone in the dark, sleeping alone, nightmares, night terrors (especially of pursuit, threat, or entrapment)
- Swallowing or gagging sensations, problems eating specific foods
- Fear of water on one’s face when bathing or swimming, feelings of suffocation
- Poor body image, not at home in your own body, poor hygiene, manipulating your body size to avoid sexual attention
- Avoidance of mirrors (connected with shame/self-esteem issues)
- Physical health issues, gastrointestinal problems, gynecological disorders, joint pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, disease (cancer, lung disease, etc.)
- Wearing a lot of clothing, baggy clothing, failure to remove clothing even when appropriate to do so such as while swimming, bathing, sleeping)
- Extreme requirement for privacy
- Eating disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, other addictive or compulsive behaviors
- Self wounding behavior (burning, cutting, breaking bones, etc.)
- Phobias (fear of heights, spiders, etc.)
- Suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts
- Depression, seemingly baseless crying, lack of connection to others or to the world
- Need to be invisible, perfect, or bad
- Anger issues; inability to recognize, control or express your own anger, intense hostility toward entire gender or ethnic group of the perpetrator
- Split personality, splitting, going into shock, shutting down in stressful situations, disassociation
- Physical pain or numbness associated with a particular memory, emotion or situation
- Adult nervousness over being watched, touched, surprised – extreme startle response
- Trust issues, inability to trust, or trusting indiscriminately
- High risk taking or inability to take risks
- Boundary issues, problems standing up for yourself, letting others take advantage of you, engaging in abusive relationships or putting yourself in risky situations
- Control, power or territorial issues, fear of losing control, obsessive/compulsive behaviors (attempts to control things that don’t matter, just to control them)
- Feelings of having no choice, indecisiveness, inability to see options, stuck/can’t get out of situation
- Guilt, shame, low self-esteem, feeling worthless
- Pattern of being a victim, especially sexually; no sense of own power or right to set limits or say no
- Pattern of relationships with much older people
- Abandonment issues, fear of being betrayed, leaving relationships before others can hurt you
- Blocking out some timeframe, typically in early childhood or anxiety when thinking back to particular age ranges
- Feeling of carrying an awful secret, fear of telling the truth
- Denial, no awareness at all, repression of memories
- Triggers – strong reaction to a person, place or event, smell, sound, or even time of year, etc.
- Sexual issues, sex feels dirty, aversion to being touched, sex is only good when it’s bad, strong aversion or attraction to particular sex acts, having to pursue power or be submissive in a sexual relationship, crying after orgasm, all pursuit feels like violation, erotic response to abuse or anger, sexaholism, prostitution, promiscuous sex with strangers often with inability to have sex in an intimate relationship, compulsively seductive or asexual
- Problems with intimacy – sexual, physical, or emotional
Sections on this page have been adapted from: TAALK.org