The Effects of Child Sexual Abuse on the Adult Survivor
Child Sexual Abuse
Any sexual contact, covert or overt, between a child and a trusted individual that damaged the child, whether these contacts included suggestive remarks, pornography, fondling or acts of sexual aggression or torture, needs to be dealt with assertively. These contacts scar virtually all facets of victims' lives since we are left with little or no self-esteem. At least one out of five boys and one out of three girls will be abused before they reach the age of eighteen. The child’s emotional growth will be arrested at the age of the first attack, and we have found the surviving victim won't begin to work on recovery until adulthood, if then.
Boys, as well as girls, are victims of child sexual abuse. Abusers come in all shapes and sizes. Many perpetrators were perceived by the child to be an authority, including: father, grandfather, mother, brother, uncle, friend of the family, aunt, teacher -- unfortunately the list is endless.
Some of the social maladjustments arising from incest are: alcoholism, drug addiction, self-injury, prostitution, promiscuity, sexual disfunctionand suicide. Eating or sleeping disorders, migraines, back or stomach pains are just a few of the serious physical consequences that we may suffer. Food, sex, alcohol and/or drugs deaden painful memories of the abuse and obscure reality temporarily. If for instance we perceive obesity to be unattractive, and if we believe or were told that we were abused because we were attractive, we may overeat in a misguided yet totally understandable attempt to defend ourselves from further sexual assault.
"I felt like throwing up" is a common response among victims. Bulimia is a way of acting out that feeling. Anorexia can be another form of self-punishment, or a desperate grab for control, eventually leading to the ultimate self-victimization, suicide.