Child sexual abuse, is heinous abuse, and no child should ever be subjected to this. it destroys childhood, steals the child’s innocence and creates specific life impacting issues, that continue on into adulthood.
If the wounds of child sexual abuse are not processed and healed, the impact will continue harming the survivors, throughout their adulthood.
1. The Sexual Abuse Often Occurs With Emotional And Psychological Abuse, At The Same Time
Sexual abuse often occurs with other forms of abuse, at the same time. So the survivor is dealing with multiple forms of abuse. As a vulnerable child.
Emotional/psychological abuse often co-occurring are threats the child to keep quiet and denial of the abuse, being doubted. Family members may also demand the victim keep quiet ‘for the sake of the family’. The perpetrators and others – may blame the child for the abuse. This sadly occurs a lot.
When I hear non insightful people talk about e.g. emotional abuse being worse than child sexual abuse, I note they are failing to understand these abuse types occur together, and so therefore, this invalidation of the impact of child sexual abuse, all too often occurs and is re-traumatising.
2. Victims Are Often Not Believed/Doubted
This is something that occurs frequently. If the child tells someone the abuse is occurring, they will often be told they are lying, or exaggerating. Which is further abuse. Often the perpetrator will have created and manipulated a situation, where the victim will be doubted if they do speak out. The perpetrators and others may deny the abuse, will claim the victim is crazy, an attention seeker.
This act of invalidating, denying and not being believed, is more trauma and abuse. And this can profoundly affect how the survivor feels about themselves, and will create such deep levels of distrust. Which is an understandable consequence of being sexually abused, and then not believed.
I liken this to ‘sticking the knife in (the sexual abuse), and then twisting the knife (not being believed).
3. Thinking Sex Is All The Survivor Has To Offer/Promiscuity
Child sexual abuse survivors, often go on into adolescence and adulthood believing sex is all they have to offer other adults. Their self worth can be so low and they believe that is all adults wants for them.
Promiscuity can occur, where the survivor continues to seek out attention in unhealthy ways. This can be dangerous and lead to the survivor being abused and traumatised again.
Some survivors subconsciously seek to repeat the trauma of the sexual abuse. This is explained well by Dr, Bessell van der Kolk – a world leading trauma expert. His book that discusses this, is on my Website list @
There are survivors who completely shut down and avoid any sexual contact, due to the fear and anxiety being so great and debilitating.
It can also lead to gender identity problems, and confusion about sexual preference.
4. Shame, Guilt & Self Hatred
Often survivors of child sexual abuse, feel dirty, damaged, unlovable, repulsive.
A huge shame issue can result from the child being confused as to why they may have enjoyed some of the abuse. Our bodies can respond to sex, sometimes even within abusive situations. In fact, predators and paedophiles, often groom the child in a way, that the child feels what is occurring is pleasurable. And being a child – they are more easily manipulated. This can create deep levels of shame. A survivor needs to begin to understand that no matter what the child was feeling at the time of the abuse, it was still child sexual abuse, was absolutely wrong, and was 100% the perpetrators responsibility. Continue reading