I would like to offer some information of the life long effects of child sexual abuse. It is known that not all children react the same and all you can do is love them and support them for the rest of their lives. For those who mistakenly believe that the damaging effects of child sexual abuse are, how we say, grown out of, you are in for a rude awakening, as this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fact is that the effects can last into adulthood and through the rest of their life. It can even be buried and not even surface until they become teen’s or adults. The impact is often delayed and slow to develop, but acute when it occurs and unfortunately the reality is that many adults who suffered child sexual abuse suffer the worst effects long after they have become adults.
1. Low self-esteem.
2. Chronic, low level depression or major depressive disorder.
3. Generalized anxiety caused by no particular event in the present.
4. Panic attacks usually associated with the stress of the event.
5. Social isolation due to a lack of friendships.
6. Marital issues.
7. Dissociative disorders in which the abused can go into a "Hypnotic" state, and they are unaware of what they are doing or where they have been. It is a defense against stress which, when it happens, brings the person back to the original childhood trauma. (I have personally witnessed this with my teen daughter and it is not something you want to have to go through, it traumatizes the entire family when it is seen and even scarier when they do not remember their actions, inflicted to themselves.)
Often, you will see that they have a lack of trust in others, may cause arguments and disagreements with family and friends. The tend to feel extremely insecure with their bodies, and often have a feeling of guilt as if it were their fault.
Those are most often the symptoms of sexual abuse in a child and trust me when I say, even if you provide them with all the love and support in the world there are some things that you just can’t change. It has to be found inside of them, which is not something easily done.