Friday, April 20, 2012

sexual abuse and its effects, the recovery, and main defination

by Emily Young

Child sexual abuse has the definition of a child being forced to do a sexual act even if touch is not involved. This abuse of children is actually very common and it gets more so every year in the United States as the rate of reports get higher every year. This can be a hard subject to conclude if sexual abuse was actually committed in some cases for everyone is different they all have their own limits and personal restrictions. The line between sexual abuse and just getting to friendly blur into each other, but when does the law intervene in the section of uncertainly? The law may not say it was sexual abuse but the damaged child would but who is to say were that line should be drawn. Many children sexually abused do not report the incident(s) especially males. Sexual abuse can range in its effects on the child both physically and mental and this draws psychology into the matter. The child at the time may not realize they are experiencing sexual abuse but the effect on the growing learning personality will be changed with no doubt. Recovering from sexual abuse is difficult in certain ranges in severity and recovery may not be an option but it is possible. The children may not seek help out of fear, distrust, no  acknowledgment  of the abuse for they do not understand or because they just feel they are not worth it (from the effects of sexual abuse). There are people and hotlines willing to help, but the child have to reach out for themselves.

The children that are experiencing sexual abuse usually have other traumatizing experiences in their life including parental substance abuse. Actual physical evidence of sexual abuse is rare the physiological damage is the main sign. For the difficulty of exactly pin pointing the sexual abuse if signs are shown in a child of this abuse professionals should be notified.

“Some signs of child sexual abuse are;

  • Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
  • Seems distracted or distant at odd times
  • Has a sudden change in eating habits
    • Refuses to eat
    • Loses or drastically increases appetite
    • Has trouble swallowing.
  • Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity or withdrawal
  • Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
  • Writes, draws, plays or dreams of sexual or frightening images
  • Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
  • Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
  • Talks about a new older friend
  • Suddenly has money, toys or other gifts without reason
  • Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty or bad
  • Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language and knowledge

·         Self-injury (cutting, burning)

·         Inadequate personal hygiene

·         Drug and alcohol abuse

·         Sexual promiscuity

·         Running away from home

·         Depression, anxiety

·         Suicide attempts

·         Fear of intimacy or closeness

·         Compulsive eating or dieting”

(Signs of child sexual abuse excerpt from

Younger children tend to constantly suck on their thumb, wet their bed frequently, resists removing clothes when appropriate times and has an early knowledge of sexual information and they might try acts on other children in sexual ways. 

The children tend to have psychological and behavioral problems in various ranges. It really depends on the severity and the person. They tend to have depression, anxiety, guilt, fear, sexual dysfunction, withdrawal, and acting out. Fear of the opposite sex may occur or they may sexually prominent or inappropriate. Short-term effects of abuse usually occur within 2 years of the last session of abuse. The effects have an impact on the child’s life like problems in school, bedwetting (even with the older children), and thumb sucking. The affect of sexual abuse can be long-term too. It continues into adulthood with the possibility of self destructive behaviors, high levels of anxiety, insomnia and problems with relations. Revictimization is also a common among the children when they become adults. Revictimization is the act of making yourself become a victim again, by placing yourself in an abusive relationship or a position to be raped. The victim can experience something called "sleeper effects". This is where not effect temperately comes from the abuse but eventually it overcomes and creates problems.

 Psychologists studied the idea of child sexual abuse and found the degree of the aftermath is based on affect the amount of harm done to the victim include the age of the child; the duration, frequency, and intrusiveness of the abuse; the degree of force used; and the relationship of the abuser to the child. Children inform people about the abuse right after it happened may be less traumatized than those children who live with the secret for years. So recovery differs with everyone, and support helps a lot and it may vary from person to person.

It is important that that the abused victims forgive themselves. It’s a vital part of recovery for it will affect their lives continually if this connection is not made that it was not their fault. They should not feel guilty and they need to know this.

“The Child help National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) is dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. Serving the United States, its territories, and Canada, the Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with professional crisis counselors who, through interpreters, can provide assistance in 170 languages. The Hotline offers crisis intervention, information, literature, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are anonymous and confidential.

"The Hotline has received more than 2 million calls since it began in 1982. These calls come from children at risk for abuse, distressed parents seeking crisis intervention and concerned individuals who suspect that child abuse may be occurring. The Hotline is also a valuable resource for those who are mandated by law to report suspected abuse, such as school personnel, medical and mental health professionals and police and fire investigators.”
(Excerpt from )

"There is a crime that is almost too devastating to speak of. For years, the subject was taboo. Victims felt powerless, ashamed, alone. The crime: sexual abuse." (

By Emily Young
More links:

No comments:

Post a Comment