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Family, Friends and Relationships Self Help Guides

Family, Friends and Relationships

Trust is often used as a tactic by abusers and such betrayals of abuse can lead survivors to the conclusion that trusting people or allowing people to close to them, is dangerous.

However, whilst being careful and not trusting people can be important in some circumstances, it can prevent survivors from having intimate, close relationships with people you really care for. Intimacy means more than sexual relationships. It is also about sharing special and important moments with close friends.

It is important to remember that it is not trust that causes sexual abuse, but the misuse of trust. In fact, children need to trust adults in order to survive and all humans, whatever their age, need to have relationships of some kinds to be mentally healthy . You did not cause the abuse or deserve the abuse because you trusted someone. The abuse happened because someone abused that trust.

The dynamic of abuse is where one person’s wishes and ideas are considered and the other person’s wishes and human rights are not considered at all.

In a relationship without abuse, intimacy can develop through sharing special moments, spending quality time together, discussing ideas, sharing experiences, enhancing spirituality, developing an equal support and respect of one another, even when you disagree.


• What kind of relationships would you like?
• What brings you closer to people?
• What pushes you away from people?
• What builds connections in your relationships with others?
• How close a relationship do you/they want?
• How might you start to safely develop intimacy?