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Significant Features

There are two other significant features of emotional rape, the first being sudden reversal.

The victim thinks the relationship is fine until this illusion is unexpectedly shattered, typically when the ambitions of the rapist have been achieved, or when he or she realizes the success of the hidden agenda is threatened.

This was evident in the story of Steve and Ellen. She had completed her hidden agenda, and her true priorities were exposed when he returned home after surgery and needed her to care for him.

The second characteristic is that victims feel extremely "used" and fear they will never be able to love or trust again.

For Steve this feeling was so overwhelming that it made him vomit. It is this devastating effect that emotional rape has upon the individual that absolutely justifies the use of the word "rape" to describe the experience.

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