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Unsafe Sexual Behavior

Hidden Resilience:

Agency & Nurturance

Is learned when:

  • Sex must be traded to meet one’s most basic needs, especially the need for affection, connection, and belonging.   

  • Basic needs can also include but are not limited to): 

    • Felt safety

    • Connection 

    • Physical/ Material needs (food, water, clothing, shelter) 

  • Think:  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The drive behind the behavior:

Objectified, unloved, unwanted, rejected, not good enough, unseen, unheard.

Steps to take to meet those needs:

  1. Help recognizing safe non-sexualized interactions.

    • Help reestablishing accurate cues for safe and unsafe connection.

    • Help regulating before, during, and after safe non-sexualized interactions.

  2. Foster interactions and/or relationships that are not transactional.

  3. Use descriptive instead of evaluative praise

  4. Create with them a collage of safe, non-sexualized activities that they enjoy.

  5. Use collaborative problem solving.

  6. Teach them, and the important people in their life, how to assertively address when they are not feeling safe.

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