In today’s podcast, Dr. Margaret talks about a certain type of shame that’s rarely revealed after sexual abuse. What is that shame? It’s the result of your body responding with arousal during the actual abuse itself. What’s vital to understand is that arousal doesn’t reflect consent — not in any way. Dr. Margaret describes conditions that can be triggered by sexual abuse, and three actual case histories of people having been sexually abused, who were also aroused.

Note: If you’ve been sexually abused, this podcast may trigger a response — memories, anxiety, nightmares. Please listen with care. The National Sexual Abuse Hotline is 800.656.HOPE (4673),

Her listener email this week comes from a woman who has jumped from relationship to relationship, and is painfully realizing that she is the common thread.

Important links for the podcast:

A Psychology Today article on the many levels of shame from sexual abuse.

An article on what science says about arousal during rape, and why it doesn’t occur all the time.

RAINN’s article on the  conditions that develop as a response to sexual violence.


If you’ve been sexually abused, please seek help. You can get immediate help online at the RAINN hotline. Other hotlines and resources can be found by clicking here.

Two books that are excellent resources: “Healing The Shame That Binds You” by John Bradshaw, and ‘The Courage To Heal”, by Laura Davis.

You can hear more about relationships and many other topics by listening to my podcast, SelfWork with Dr. Margaret Rutherford. Subscribe to my website and receive one weekly newsletter including my weekly blog post and podcast! If you’d like to join my FaceBook closed group, then click here and answer the membership questions! Welcome!

My new book entitled Perfectly Hidden Depression has arrived and you can order here! Its message is specifically for those with a struggle with strong perfectionism which acts to mask underlying emotional pain. But the many self-help techniques described can be used by everyone who chooses to begin to address emotions long hidden away that are clouding and sabotaging your current life.

And there’s a new way to send me a message! You can record by clicking below and ask your question or make a comment. You’ll have 90 seconds to do so and that time goes quickly. By recording, you’re giving SelfWork (and me) permission to use your voice on the podcast. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!




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