Judith Lewis Herman Quotes

Enjoy the top 44 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Judith Lewis Herman.

Judith Lewis Herman Quotes

By developing a contaminated, stigmatized identity, the child victim takes the evil of the abuser into herself and thereby preserves her primary attachments to her parents. Because the inner sense of badness preserves a relationship, it is not readily given up even after the abuse has stopped; rather, it becomes a stable part of the childs personality structure.
— Judith Lewis Herman —

When trust is lost, traumatized people feel that they belong more to the dead than to the living.

— Judith Lewis Herman

The horror of incest is not in the sexual act. but in the exploitation of children and the corruption of parental love. p4

— Judith Lewis Herman

Survivors of atrocity of every age and every culture come to a point in their testimony where all questions are reduced to one, spoken more in bewilderment than in outrage: Why? The answer is beyond human understanding.

— Judith Lewis Herman

Those who attempt to describe the atrocities that they have witnessed also risk their own credibility.
To speak publicly about one's knowledge of atrocities is to invite the stigma that attaches to victims ... .
Denial, repression and dissociation operate on a Social, as well as an individual level.

— Judith Lewis Herman

As recently as 1975, a basic American psychiatry textbook estimated that the frequency of all forms of incest as one case per million. [James Henderson, "Incest", in A. M. Freedman, H.I. Kaplan and B.J. Sadock, eds., Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 2nd ed. 1975 p. 1532.]

— Judith Lewis Herman

Like revenge, the fantasy of forgiveness often becomes a cruel torture, because it remains out of reach for most ordinary human beings. Folk wisdom recognizes that to forgive is divine. And even divine forgiveness, in most religious systems, is not unconditional. True forgiveness cannot be granted until the perpetrator has sought and earned it through confession, repentance, and restitution.

— Judith Lewis Herman

Because the child does not have the power to withhold consent, she does not have the power to grant it.

— Judith Lewis Herman

To hold traumatic reality in consciousness requires a social context that affirms and protects the victim and that joins the victim and witness in a common alliance. For the individual victim, this social context is created by relationships with friends, lovers, and family. For the larger society, the social context is created by political movements that give voice to the disempowered.

— Judith Lewis Herman

Many survivors have such profound deficiencies in self-protection that they can barely imagine themselves in a position of agency or choice. The idea of saying no to the emotional demands of a parent, spouse, lover or authority figure may be practically inconceivable. Thus, it is not uncommon to find adult survivors who continue to minister to the needs of those who once abused them and who continue to permit major intrusions without boundaries or limits. Adult survivors may nurse their abusers in illness, defend them in adversity, and even, in extreme cases, continue to submit to their sexual demands.

— Judith Lewis Herman

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