Childhood sexual abuse is a prevalent problem and the numbers behind it are staggering.
It’s estimated that child protection services find evidence for or files a claim of childhood sexual abuse every 9 minutes. That means that before you finish reading this article, a child somewhere will end up a victim of sexual abuse.
To worsen matters, sexual abuse can have not only physical but also emotional and psychological effects on the victim.
Children who’ve experienced sexual abuse are highly likely to undergo depression, insomnia, substance abuse, low self-esteem, contract STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), and even child pregnancy.
As you can expect, dealing with these effects is not an easy process. However, with the right help and support, they can be treated.
If you’re a survivor of child sexual abuse or know someone who is, here are three main reasons why you should find immediate care to start a journey of finding healing.
1. Avoid Repressing Feelings That Will Affect the Survivor Later in Life
Sexual assault is a highly traumatic experience for anyone, child or adult. But when it happens to the child, it’s very possible for the child to try and block the events for a long time.
It takes some people years to talk about childhood sexual abuse. However, immediately discussing what happened is a way of finding healing before negative thoughts imprint themselves on the survivor’s mind.
Such thoughts can eat away at their mental state and come back to affect other aspects of the person’s adult life such as how they approach sex and perceptions about the gender of their abuser.
2. Preserve the Survivor’s Mental Health
Abuse of any kind can have a detrimental effect on the survivor’s mental health. They can experience the psychological trauma of the events that happened whether the abuse occurred two decades ago or the previous week.
Some of the potential effects that may stem from the abuse include depression, anxiety, self-destructive tendencies, trust issues, mood fluctuations, and feelings of shame or guilt. If these effects are left untreated, they can recur for months or years, restricting the survivor from living their life to the fullest.
3. Find Emotional Healing
An assault forensic examiner may meet with a survivor to discuss what happened following a sexual abuse report but that does not serve as adequate treatment. It is very important for a sexual abuse survivor to see a professional who can help them recover from such a traumatic experience.
A therapist or counselor has the proper expertise, experience, and resources to discuss what happened in a safe environment where they won’t feel judged. While it may be difficult, it will help the survivor move forward with their life instead of simply blocking out what happened which can cause further damage in the long term.
The Effects of Child Sexual Abuse Can Be Managed
Child sexual abuse is a highly traumatizing act of violence and kids simply don’t understand the nature of its brutality. As such, survivors often repress the events of what happened until later in life when it’s developed into a source of trauma.
This makes it very important for survivors to get professional help to work through what happened so they can remedy the symptoms of the trauma.
Regardless of what happened, every sexual abuse survivor deserves to live a life full of happiness.