A must read on the effects of childhood sexual abuse......
If you are visiting this site, you are likely either a victim of childhood sexual abuse seeking help or you know someone who is a survivor and needs the support to recover. This website and foundation have been created to assist you on your journey from a confused victim to a survivor with a measure of peace with his or her past.
You might ask: What is considered childhood sexual abuse?
Childhood sexual abuse is any contact or interaction between a child and a perpetrator where the child is being used for the sexual stimulation (physically, visually, verbally, or psychologically) of the perpetrator or any other person, whether covert or overt, this stimulation betrays the child's innocence and trust. Childhood sexual abuse can be committed by both adults and other children; a perpetrator is someone who is perceived by the child to be physically or psychologically stronger than the child, he or she may also hold a position of power, control, or trust over the child.
We may feel that what happened to us wasn't considered sexual abuse because it wasn't invasive or extensive enough compared to the perpetrations that others have endured. We believe that we do not have a right to speak out or have good reason to suffer any long term emotional, psychological, or physical effects. This is simply not true. Whether it happened once or many times, recently or years ago, research has confirmed that the damage was incurred IMMEDIATELY.
With childhood sexual abuse physical coercion is rarely necessary. The child is usually already intimidated and the more gentle the attack the more guilt the child may carry. Our feelings of betrayal by our families are unfathomable because we were not protected. In our own imaginations many of us created an ideal family that we now mourn because the perpetration from our sexual abuse has skewed our reality. We will never forget what brought us to this place in our lives, but in time we can end the regretting that comes with destructive memories. We can learn, "one" day at a time, that we are SURVIVORS and not sexual abuse victims. Together we can; together we must; together we will start the journey toward healing.
If physical contact with an adult felt inappropriate or somehow “wrong” it likely was wrong. It is important for you to interpret how it felt and not rely on the assurances of the perpetrator. You were asked to surrender control and sublimate your feelings. Getting in touch with how it actually felt can be the first step in dropping the blame on yourself and feeling compassion for yourself.
Here are some of the symptoms of childhood sexual abuse that you may still be feeling as an adult:
You have difficulty trusting anyone, including your spouse or partner.
You find yourself going through multiple relationships because you are afraid of intimacy
You don't talk about it because you are afraid your feeling won't be validated.
You have developed one or more addictions throughout your life
You bargain with your feelings: “It wasn't that bad.” “It happened because he/she was drunk.” “It was a long time ago. It's better to keep it buried.” “Who's going to believe me?”
Together We Can Effect Change