If you’re an adult who experienced sexual abuse as a child, know that you are not alone. Every eight minutes, a child is sexually assaulted in the U.S.1, and 93 percent know the perpetrator2. Many perpetrators of sexual abuse are in a position of trust or responsible for the child’s care, such as a family member, teacher, clergy member, or coach.
No matter what, the abuse was not your fault. It’s never too late to start healing from this experience.
What are the effects of child sexual abuse for adults?
If you experienced sexual abuse as a child, you may encounter a range of short- and long-term effects that many survivors face. Adult survivors of child sexual abuse may have some of the following concerns that are specific to their experience:
Why do I still feel this way?
As an adult survivor, you have been living with these memories for a long time. Some survivors keep the abuse a secret for many years. They may have tried to tell an adult and met with resistance or felt there was no one they could trust. For these reasons and many others, the effects of sexual abuse can occur many years after the abuse has ended. Remember that there is no set timeline for dealing with and recovering from this experience.
How should I react when someone tells me they were sexually abused?
It can be difficult to hear that someone you care about suffered sexual abuse as a child. Your reaction can have a big impact on the survivor, but it isn’t always easy to know what to say. Learn more about how to respond to a survivor and self-care tips for friends and family.
RAINN partners with 1in6, an organization that helps men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences live healthier, happier lives. Check out their resources for family and friends to learn more about supporting a man who has experienced unwanted or abusive sexual experiences.
Article from: https://www.rainn.org/articles/adult-survivors-child-sexual-abuse (RAINN.org)
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Safe Place Sexual Assault Center
PO Box 235
Batesville, Indiana 47006
This project is supported in part (or in whole) by grant, 03215VAGX006403 from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. Views contained herein are those of the author and do not represent the position of USDOJ or ICJI.
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