Child Abuse

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The impact of childhood sexual abuse.

The long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse can include many emotional, psychological and physical conditions. The experience of sexual assault or abuse at any age and whether male or female can have devastating effects on every aspect of a person’s being and life – on their mind, their body, their behaviour, thoughts and feelings.

The following list includes some of the effects now being recognised and acknowledged as the consequences of childhood sexual abuse on many victims and survivors.

Every survivor is unique as an individual, so may experience some, all or none of the following symptoms:

  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dissociation
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Irritability and outbursts of anger
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Suicide
  • Alcohol Misuse and dependence
  • Sexual problems
  • Confusion about sexuality
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-injury and self harming behaviour
  • Transient psychotic episodes
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Dissociative Identity disorder
  • Somatisation – Emotional distress experienced as physical pain
  • Increased rates of physical conditions like heart disease and cancer
  • Homelessness
  • Revictimisation
  • Prostitution
  • Criminal behaviour (including for a small minority sexual offences)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of confidence
  • Sleep Problems
  • Parenting Problems
  • Relationship Problems

If you are a victim or survivor of sexual violence, the thought that you may be affected in any of the above ways may be frightening and daunting. RASASC NW strives to have the professional expertise and empathic understanding necessary to help survivors meet the challenges and difficulties they are experiencing as a result of abuse or rape.

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