Amnesia for Sexual Abuse More Likely Found in Victims With Multiple Abusers, Fear of Death, Violent and Extended Abuse

Going through my storage closet and boxes. Found another research article linking total amnesia for having been sexually abused as a child, or teen –linking it with death threats, extended abuse, violent abuse, and multiple perpetrators.

Self-reported amnesia for abuse in adults molested as children

“A sample of 450 adult clinical subjects reporting sexual abuse histories were studied regarding their repression of sexual abuse incidents. A total of 267 subjects (59.3%) identified some period in their lives, before age 18, when they had no memory of their abuse. Variables most predictive of abuse-related amnesia were greater current psychological symptoms, molestation at an early age, extended abuse, and variables reflecting especially violent abuse (e.g., victimization by multiple perpetrators, having been physically injured as a result of the abuse, victim fears of death if she or he disclosed the abuse to others). In contrast, abuse characteristics more likely to produce psychological conflict (e.g., enjoyment of the abuse, acceptance of bribes, feelings of guilt or shame) were not associated with abuse-related amnesia. ”


Charles R. Figley, Dan Sexton, M.A., Journal of Traumatic Stress, January 1993, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 21-31
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6 Responses to Amnesia for Sexual Abuse More Likely Found in Victims With Multiple Abusers, Fear of Death, Violent and Extended Abuse

  1. Meg LuvsJC says:

    I am almost positive that disassociation should be included in this. If you essentially leave your body when the abuse happens…when the door knob turns..when you feel a pressure on the mattress can what happened ever travel from the sub conscious to the conscious?

    • Alethea says:

      Hi Meg. The intention of the article is to describe the outward events/experiences/relationships which contribute to repression, not necessarily what the mind does when the abuse is happening, or about to. It’s a good observation/point on your part. The mentioned factors are creating the repression, while dissociation is a reaction to the abuse, a mechanism like the repression itself is.

  2. PDD says:

    Interesting. I’ve noticed I have three main types of memories: largely intact w fine details remembered; snap shots w fleeting images; vague feelings and emotions that I can’t precisely place in time.

    These three memory types apply to all my SA, PA, and EA memories. Without a doubt there must be a fourth category of total amnesia.

    • Alethea says:

      In some cases, I would say, events that are ‘too horrific for the conscious mind to retain.’

  3. Grace Siwale says:

    Nurse died in mysterious circumstances after satanic cult abuse claim |   | |   | |   |   |   |   |   | | Nurse died in mysterious circumstances after satanic cul…Carol Myers, 41, claimed her family were satanists who abused her and that her mother murdered her sister. She was found dead next to tablets in her flat in Wandswo… | | | | View on | Preview by Yahoo | | | |   |

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