Sexual Abuse And How It Affects You

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse represents any kind of sexual contact between an adult or older teen and a child. This behavior is used to gain power over the child and often involves a betrayal of the child's trust.

There are many types of sexual abuse, some include physical contact or non touching . This includes fondling, touching sexual organs, masturbation, making the child touch the adult sexually, and vaginal or anal penetration with self or objects. Non touching offenses include exposing a child to pornographic material, indecent exposure, leering and deliberately putting the child in the position of having to witness an act of sexual intercourse.

What Kind Of Person Would Victimize A Child?

People who sexually abuse suffer from emotional immaturity, low self-esteem, an inability to see harm in their actions and lack the knowledge to control their impulses. Often the offenders were victims of trauma themselves. Many abusers are not strangers, they are often people of position or power , such as teachers doctors, baby-sitters, neighbors, parents, stepfather, a parents significant other,siblings, relatives and clergy.

Romantic relationships

What are your expectations of your partner in a relationship?

Do you find it easy to trust others?

Do you find difficulty in making commitments?

Even though you're in a relationship, are you still lonely?

Is it hard for you to allow others to get close to you?

Do you find yourself in relationships with people who remind you of your abuser, or you know is no good for you?

How do you view yourself

Do you lack self confidence

Do you find it difficult to love yourself?

Do you have a hard time accepting yourself?

Are you ashamed of yourself?

Do you have expectations of yourself that aren't realistic?

Your sexuality

Do you enjoy sex?

Do you find it difficult to express yourself sexually?

Do you find yourself using sex to get close to someone?

Does sex make you feel dirty?

Are you "present" during sex?

Problems that are Caused by Sexual Abuse?

1. Difficulty with becoming aroused and feeling sensations

2. Sex feels like an obligation

3. Sexual thoughts and images that are disturbing

4. Inappropriate sexual behaviors or sexual compulsivity

5. Vaginal pain

6. Inability to achieve orgasm or other orgasmic difficulties

7. Erections problems or ejaculatory difficulty

8. Feeling dissociated while having sex

9. Detachment or emotional distance while having sex

10. Being afraid of sex or avoiding sex

11. Guilt, fear, anger, disgust or other negative feelings when being touche

other symptoms associated with sexual abuse

1. Insomnia

2. Vaginal or Pelvic Pain

3. Eating Disorders

4. Headaches

5.Erection problems or ejaculatory difficulty

6. Self harming/self-mutilation

7. Chronic physical complaints

Long-Term Psychological Symptoms of Sexual Abuse

1. Anxiety

2. Panic Attacks

3. Low self-esteem

4. Stress disorders - PTSD

5. Personality disorders

6. Substance abuse

7. Self-abuse behaviors

It happened in the past, why should I talk about now

There are many reasons why children do not deal with the abuse at the time of the incident: unconscious feelings of shame, disbelief, self blame. Abusers may also threaten or bribe children into not speaking up, convincing the child that it is indeed their fault, and that they will never be believed otherwise. These tactics are used to silence the child. Under no circumstances, is the child to blame for the abuse. Although, if the abuse is not dealt with in a therapeutic and healing setting, the effects of past abuse will remain and undermine the victim for years to come.

It Gets better

The worst part, of the abuse, is over. Now your next step is to surround yourself with supportive loving people, and focus on the desire you have to heal yourself. This is your process. You must be patient with yourself as your healing process gently unfolds. You are giving yourself the gift of coming to life, again.

You are not alone in recognizing what has happened to you. Speaking about your experience is important in the healing process. If you think that you have been a victim of sexual abuse, you need to take action immediately so your life will not be undermined by the abuser.

If you're ready to move in a new direction in your life, I look forward to working with you to achieve your goals.

Call for a free consultation today: 310-218-7194

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