Understanding the Impact: Exploring the Long-Term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse
While most people only get to see the short term effects of child sexual abuse, the sad truth is that these effects last for way longer than a few months or years. In fact, most children, who experience sexual abuse, end up being scarred for their entire lives, in some way or another. They suffer from mental, emotional and behavioral problems all their lives, in turn affecting their social and romantic relationships, physical health, educational and career success, earing ability and overall quality of life. This is why, it is extremely important to address child sexual abuse when it happens, because brushing it under the carpet only makes it worse.
To help understand the gravity of this situation, let’s look at the five different ways, sexual abuse continues to impact a child’s life long after the incident has taken place:
Psychological and Behavioral Problems
Psychological and behavioral problems is, perhaps, the most common long-term impact of child sexual abuse. Some of the issues in this area include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anorexia or other behavioral disorders. These are complex psychological conditions that end up having an overwhelming impact on the quality of life of an individual and if left untreated, can even lead to suicidal thoughts.
Children who are sexually abused in their childhood often take the help of drugs to overcome their trauma. Over time, they become highly dependent on alcohol and other drugs which effects their lives in every way and leads to serious negative consequences, both physically and mentally. It adversely affects their educations, relationships and credibility as person.
As child survivors of sexual abuse grow up into adults, they often go through sexual dysfunctionality due to their past trauma. Where women tend to face greater difficulty in getting intimate with sexual partners and overall desire and arousal, both men and women show PTDSD symptoms when it comes to intimacy. This end ups affecting their relationships.
Memory loss is a common coping mechanism for most child sexual abuse survivors. Children bury their bad memories deep down, until they finally resurface as adults, unannounced. However, at times, they never show up, at all. This is because, in order to protect themselves, children tend to completely forget about what happened with them, consequently also forgetting most of their childhood.
Child sexual abuse survivors often end up having very low self-esteem as adults. In fact, the more severe the sexual abuse was, the greater is the impact on self-esteem. This is because, as children, these adults learn that they have little to no control on the external unpleasant events that happen to them and hence become more pessimistic about their own selves.
In a Nutshell;
Child sexual abuse is a serious crime; it ends up having long term effects on a child’s life, impacting their physical health, mental wellbeing and their social standing in the society. This is why, it is important that we, as a society, address this problem right when it occurs, so that children can heal and live a normal life ahead.
Do you wish to combat child sexual abuse? Get in touch with Sanaa’s Stars, where professional commit to healing trauma of child sexual abuse, nurturing them through therapeutic approaches to ensure their bright future.