You might have difficulty acknowledging that you were sexually abused, and may choose to believe it never happened, especially if it happened by a caregiver or parent. After all, these folks who are supposed to protect us from harm, not cause it.
You might even believe that being abused is in the past and has no effect on me today. Afterall, you are a perfectly normal adult and there is no need to dig up the past. “It was no big deal.”
“The major problem with this epidemic is that we tend to live our life in our head, in our thoughts and in our stories, in denial about the actual events, because it’s too painful to deal with. Instead, we live a Facade never experiencing life to its fullest, never sharing with the world our authentic wonderful self.” Dr Kathy Lacina
What Does it mean to be Sexually abused as a Child?
Child sexual abuse is defined as; any sexual activity with a child where consent is not or cannot be given. This includes sexual contact that is accomplished by force or threat of force, regardless of the age of the participants, and all sexual contact between an adult and a child, regardless of whether there is deception or the child understands the sexual nature of the activity. Sexual contact between an older child and a younger child also can be abusive if there is a significant disparity in age, development, or size, rendering the younger child incapable of giving informed consent. The sexually abusive acts may include sexual penetration, sexual touching, or noncontact sexual acts such as exposure or voyeurism.
Legal definitions vary by state; however, state guidelines are available by using the Child Welfare Information Gateway www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state
Are there other people out there like me?
It is estimated that 12–40% of children in the United States experience some form of childhood sexual abuse. Shame and stigma prevent many survivors from disclosing abuse. Incest, once thought to be rare, occurs with alarming frequency. Survivors come from all cultural, racial, and economic groups. Approximately one in five women has experienced childhood sexual abuse and one in ten boys have been sexually abused. (These stats are old and my experience tells me the stats should be much higher). Men are less likely to report than women so oftentimes we see more stats for women, (not all of them report either). Of all girls who experienced sexual abuse, 65% reported that the abuse occurred more than once, 57% reported that the abuser was a family member, and 53% reported that the abuse occurred at home by a family member.
Who are the perpetrators of child sexual abuse?
FACT: Those who molest children look and act just like everyone else. There are people who have or will sexually abuse children in churches, schools and youth sports leagues. Abusers can be neighbors, friends and family members. People who sexually abuse children can be found in families, schools, churches, recreation centers, youth sports leagues, and any other place children gather.
FACT: Homosexual individuals are no more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual individuals.
FACT: Not everyone who sexually abuses children is a pedophile.
Child sexual abuse is perpetrated by a wide range of individuals with diverse motivations. It is impossible to identify specific characteristics that are common to all those who molest children.
Evaluate The Damage
A victim of abuse suffers on many levels, Psychological, Physical, Behaviorial and Interpersonal. Below, I have listed a summary of common effects often evidenced by the victims of abuse;
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depressive Disorders, Anxiety, DID, Disassociative DO, mood disorders, Panic attacks, Night terrors, False Guilt, Anger, Eating disorders, Substance abuse, Hopelessness, Feelings of suicide, Shame, Effects cognigtive and emotional development, Addictions and substance abuse, Racing thoughts, Poor self image, inability to love themselves.
Vaginal or anal bleeding, redness and or bruising, Urinary tract infection/s, HIV, STD”S, Menstrual irregularities, Genital damage, Gastrointestinal problems, Early pregnancy, abortion/s, complaints of painful intercourse, miscarriage and/or difficulty getting pregnant.
Violators of the law, Social misconduct, Lower academic performance (mostly early years), Absenteeism from school or work, Sexual addiction or prostitution, Exhibitionist, Violent behavior toward self or others, A tendency to become a perpetrator-repeating what was done to them, workaholics, Constant need for approval, Cries often, hyper-sensitive. Some children might hide only to be found in a fetal position or may be curled up in a ball, rocking and humming themselves to sleep. Some of my ladies become perfectionists and do everything in their power to keep the Secrets hidden by living the Perfect Facade.
Co-dependent, enablers to the abuser, attracted to another abuser, Poor communication skills, Lack of Trust, Feels Insecure in any relationship, fear of losing those they love.
Just because you may have a few of these symptoms does not mean you were abused, and just because you have a lot of them, doesn’t mean you are a bad person or that you are crazy. These are the effects that can manifest if you have been abused. You are the VICTIM here and what happens to you sexually against your will as a child or as an adult, you have the right to take back your power.
Holding onto the painful memories just keeps us sick both inside and out. I hope you will take some time out to start taking care of YOU by taking some online courses that I am developing, as well as some online counseling. I will not turn away anyone who cannot afford to pay my asking price. I will take donations or payments or nothing at all. I do this out of Love and Compassion as a fellow victim of abuse.
Be comforted in knowing you are not alone!