Grinning and Bearing It

Rebecca S. Heiss Ph.D.

Survivors of sexual assault can feel guilty for not protecting themselves from their attackers – I know I did. Despite spending years studying animals’ responses to severe stress, I never connected the dots between our evolutionary fight/flight/freeze response and my own inaction. After a recent assault, I looked to nature to understand why it is, that I, and other women, immobilize, smile, and simply wait for the pain to pass.

Categories Psychology

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