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Dealing With the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse

February 26, 2020 2084 399 No Comments


Statistics show that about 17 percent of boys and 25 percent of girls will experience some form of sexual abuse before they reach their eighteenth birthday. For those who have experienced it, this kind of trauma is difficult to move past. However, the ability to do so allows them to heal. If you have experienced sexual abuse, here are some steps you can take in the healing process.

Seek Counseling

Getting counseling can be instrumental in recovering from childhood sexual abuse. It allows you to work through difficult feelings with someone who’s safe and who has been trained to deal with this kind of trauma. It also helps you move past the secrecy and guilt that often comes with being sexually abused. Finally, it gives you a chance to put the past in the past so that you can live in a healthier present.

Knowing Whether to Report Later in Life

A new law in California gives some survivors more time to report their abuse. For many survivors, this extension of the statute of limitations opens up the possibility of getting justice. However, many survivors worry about reporting the abuse. They’re not sure if they’ll be believed or if their former abuser will retaliate against them. Even if none of these things occur, many survivors will experience a re-emergence of their trauma symptoms due to the nature of dredging up the crime committed against them. However, despite their fears, many find the ability to speak out and reclaim their voice to be healing even if it may bring some discomfort for a time.

Supportive Friends and Family

Survivors of sexual abuse need their stories to be heard, and they need to be supported emotionally as they work through their trauma. Getting support from friends and family can be critical to healing during this time. If you haven’t sought out the support of friends or accepted their offers of help, you might want to reconsider. You may find that feeling supported gives you the courage to face the resentment, pain and fear so that you can begin to heal. Friends and family can also provide a support system if you decide to report the person who abused you.

Being sexually abused as a child leaves many scars on a person’s psyche, and if you have been a victim, you’ve probably found it difficult to move past it. However, taking steps like seeking counseling, reporting your abuser and rallying the support of loved ones can help you to overcome the trauma.