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Experts say sexual abusers seek the need for control

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Ginny Waller, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands Ginny Waller, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Advocates for victims of sexual trauma say there is never any logic behind an abuser's behavior, but there will always be a question of why offenders act out in a criminal manner.

Experts say one commonality among perpetrators is the need for control.

"It's not that it happens one time, it doesn't happen because someone 'snaps,'" said Ginny Waller with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands. "It happens because this is the nature of this individual who needs to control, manipulate and overpower and individual who is less powerful than them."

Waller, the executive director of Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, is describing a so-called "typical" perpetrator who she says, usually has a peppered past and preys on the vulnerable.

"Whether it is children or a partner who loves them and wants to stay with them in some ways," Waller says.

Paul Thomas Rawl, Jr. is accused of sexually assaulting a former girlfriend up to nine times a day and holding her captive for three months.

Lexington County Sheriff James Metts says this man has a criminal history but now, Waller says the woman can finally start to heal.

"I think she feels a lot safer and over time will recover from the physical aspects but the emotional part, that will probably drain on her the rest of her life," Metts said.

Waller said questioning victim behavior and victim decisions is really not where they need to be placing the blame, but rather with the perpetrators who have this sickness.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands. If you live in Richland and Lexington Counties, you can call their 24 hour hotline at 803-771-7273 or if you live in Newberry and Sumter Counties, call 1-800-491-7273.

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