Ten women who had been sexually abused as children and a matched group of women who had not been sexually abused participated in a preliminary study to explore the hypothesis that feelings of powerlessness and a compensatory need for power continue into adulthood for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The Picture-Story Exercise (PSE) was used as an indirect assessment technique to determine the level of the need for power (McClelland, 1985; Winter, 1973, 1988). Results indicated that the stories of women with sexual abuse histories revealed a higher need for power and greater fear of power than those of nonabused women. Further content analysis of the PSE revealed that sexual abuse survivors’ stories also contained more references to Finkelhor and Browne's (1986) dynamics of powerlessness, traumatic sexualization, betrayal, and stigmatization. These findings suggest important directions for future research as well as areas for therapeutic exploration.