Sexual Abuse: The Importance of Understanding and Addressing it.
Victims of sexual abuse experience long-term effects of the incident trauma. Causing a multitude of challenges that leads to developing toxic avoidance and coping mechanisms. The importance of acknowledging and effectively addressing sexual abuse can reduce the risk of further severe damage.
Sexual abuse is known to be linked to PTSD, CPTSD, PD, depression and anxiety among various other serve challenges and disorders. If sexual abuse is not dealt with effectively, the effects can be prolonged into adulthood – resulting in potentially irreversible psychological and physical damage.
The signs of sexual abuse in men, teenagers, and women can be subtle, thus, easily overlooked and seen as unimportant. Counseling with a professional sexual abuse therapist is crucial for those who have experienced sexual abuse. To overcome and heal from the trauma caused by sexual abuse, you need to discover the signs and manifestations of sexual abuse
The Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse in Adulthood.
Childhood sexual abuse can result in negatively life-altering trauma.
“What is childhood sexual abuse?”
Sexual abuse is categorized as; any unwanted touching, kissing, fondling, or forceful sexual acts. Forms of sexual abuse can be different. In cases where sexual assault has happened during younger years, oftentimes a child’s brain is unable to process the trauma correctly out of shock. Over time, the effects of sexual abuse can develop into psychological and mental challenges.
The development of childhood sexual trauma happens gradually. As a consequence of unwanted sexual activity, as an adult, you may begin to develop symptoms of trauma that you may not recognize initially. Psychological effects of sexual abuse can vary from developing negative attachment disorders, depression, anxiety and PTSD. Amongst a wide range of detrimental consequences, childhood sexual abuse trauma is known to negatively impact one’s overall wellbeing.
As an adult who has experienced childhood sexual abuse, it is beneficial to you to be able to identify any signs or symptoms of unresolved trauma. If you find it challenging to recall monumental events in your childhood, this may be an underlying indicator of childhood sexual abuse trauma.
When addressing childhood sexual offense trauma signs in an adult, look out for:
- Depression and anxiety.
- PTSD symptoms.
- Dissociative behavior.
- Suicidal thoughts.
- Isolation and loneliness.
- Eating disorders.
- High-risk behavior.
- Substance abuse.
- Avoidance of sexual intimacy or constant need for it.
The signs of childhood sexual abuse in adults can be subtle and easily overlooked. If you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, it is advised to pay closer attention. These are mild indicators of unresolved childhood sexual abuse. Although the symptoms of sexual abuse vary for each survivor. The recurring effect of unresolved sexual abuse trauma is behavioral and psychological problems.
As a sexual abuse survivor, you will experience a multitude of emotions and may develop coping mechanisms to avoid the trauma. However, the trauma of childhood sexual abuse will likely start to impact and negatively affect areas in your life. You may notice challenges in interpersonal relationships, or challenges with your self-esteem and overall well-being. Childhood sexual abuse can cause sexual addiction or hypersexuality in adults. This consequently leads to complicated emotional distress that typically develops into psychological effects of sexual trauma.
Long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse in adults;
- Trouble developing and maintaining healthy relationships.
- Severe emotional and mental trauma.
- Physical health challenges.
- Depression and anxiety.
- PTSD of CPTSD.
- Nightmare disorders.
- Personality disorders.
- Cognitive impairment.
- Low self-esteem and confidence.
The long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse can manifest much later in adulthood. Although many abuse victims prefer to internalize their trauma and pain, it is advised to speak to a professional sexual abuse therapist. Overcoming childhood sexual abuse in adulthood can help you avoid irreversible damage.
‘Is it possible to heal from childhood sexual abuse trauma as an adult?’
It is entirely possible and encouraged by professionals to learn to resolve sexual abuse trauma. The sooner the better. BetterHelp specialists in sexual trauma therapy are certified to guide and support those in need of healing from trauma.
BetterHelp sexual abuse and trauma counselors and therapists have successfully assisted adults in overcoming and resolving childhood unlawful sexual intercourse trauma.
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Christian Sexual Abuse Counseling.
Childhood sexual abuse awareness is immensely important when understanding the long-term effects. Healing from childhood sexual abuse allows victims a healthier way of living. The key factor when starting your healing journey from childhood sexual abuse is acknowledging the trauma and identifying the signs of childhood unresolved abuse in adults.
- Sexual dysfunction.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Sleep disturbances such as insomnia.
- Eating disorders.
- Dissociative experiences.
- Emotional detachment.
- PTSD symptoms.
- High-risk behavior such as lack of contraceptive usage.
- Self-harm or suicide attempts.
- The expectation of premature death.
- Compulsive behavior or decisions.
In an attempt to self-protect or avoid the trauma of childhood sexual abuse, victims commonly develop negative coping mechanisms. These coping mechanisms have a detrimental effect on your overall well-being. If left unresolved, childhood sexual trauma can cause severe psychological and emotional distress. Consequently causes further implications.
As unresolved childhood sexual abuse trauma develops into adulthood – The potential long-term consequences of unaddressed childhood sexual abuse are known to affect victims in various aspects of their lives. Ranging from challenges with interpersonal relationships, intimate relationships and professional relationships. It is of high importance to recover from childhood sexual abuse to avoid trauma responses and the long-term effects such as;
- Confusing emotions. You may find it challenging to self-regulate or process emotions.
- Difficulty developing or maintaining relationships. Intimate relationships become a challenge to maintain.
- Feeling alone, shameful or guilty.
- Feeling out of control or powerless.
- Sexual intimacy difficulties.
- Chronic nightmares and flashbacks.
- Cognitive dissociation.
- Memory loss or fragmentation.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Hypervigilance or constantly feeling on edge.
Healing from childhood sexual offense is an emotional journey. It requires strength, guidance, support and faith. We encourage all trauma victims to educate themselves thoroughly about what childhood sexual abuse is, as well as the potential long-term and short-term effects. Dealing with unresolved childhood abuse or sexual trauma with the support of a professional Christian sexual abuse therapist offers you comfort, effective advice and support.
Self-help methods to overcome childhood sexual abuse.
- Find someone you can trust to talk about it with.
- Rebuild your self-worth and confidence.
- Try methods to counter negative self-talk or thoughts.
- Don’t hold onto feelings of guilt or shame.
- Prepare yourself for flashbacks and memories.
- Learn your triggers and develop methods to self-soothe.
- Reconnect with your senses and bodily signals.
- Do your best to stay connected to the end you love.
- Be patient with yourself and nurture your wellbeing.
- Consider reaching out to a professional sexual abuse therapist.
Childhood sexual violation in adults is commonly left untreated. Unfortunately the effects of unresolved sexual abuse trauma is known to complicate into potentially irreversible damage. It is advised and encouraged for abuse victims to seek professional Christian sexual abuse counseling.
Faithful Counseling ensures to uphold your faith through each sexual abuse therapy session.
With Faithful Counseling, you have the option to choose your own certified, Christian sexual abuse counselor that will be available to you 24-hours for your convenience. Affordable, convenient and effective methods of therapy.
The Signs of Sexual Abuse in Men
What is sexual abuse? Sexual abuse is any form of unwanted sexual activity.
The effects of sexual abuse on a man are uniquely different for each abuse survivor. Understanding how sexual violation affects you later in life if left unresolved can alleviate further trauma and damaging effects.
Sexual abuse and the effects on men. Abuse sufferers must be able to identify the signs of sexual abuse in men, this can be used as a guideline for healing the trauma of sexual abuse. Specifically, in sexual abuse cases involving male victims, it causes trauma reactions that result in suppressing the experience instead of confronting it.
How to identify the signs of sexual abuse in men;
- Avoiding places or people that trigger the trauma.
- PTSD, anxiety or depression.
- Doubts or concerns about sexuality.
- Fear of judgement.
- Feeling like less of a man or feeling a loss of masculinity.
- Nightmares and flashbacks.
- Intense feelings of shame, guilt and embarrassment.
- Withdrawing from friendships or relationships.
A common societal misconception of men who have been sexually violated is that men are made out to be “strong enough” to deal with it alone. This causes feelings of shame, guilt and insecurity. Men who have experienced forceful sexual encounters may have different reactions during the event and afterward. It is common for men to experience an erection or ejaculation during the sexual abuse, making it increasingly difficult to talk about.
Unlawful sexual activity has a direct impact on child development. When a traumatic experience happens such as sexual abuse, a child’s brain is unable to process and release the shock. This consequently results in mental blockades, emotional and cognitive impairment, as well as, high-stress levels and anxiety.
Addressing, confronting, and healing from childhood sexual offense as a man. Childhood sexual abuse in any form is devastating. The effects can be both long and short-term, however, the effects are as damaging to the psychological, emotional, and overall well-being of the victim. In order to avoid further sexual trauma symptoms, it is beneficial to understand the long-term and short-term effects.
- Developing personality disorders.
- Severe depression and anxiety.
- Nightmare disorders.
- Health challenges such as heart disease or high blood pressure.
- Memory loss or blocks.
- Lack of emotional availability.
- Unable to trust or connect with others.
- Relational interferences.
- Cognitive impairment.
It is a common trauma response to childhood sexual violation to retract and isolate from sharing your experience. However, the danger of such a coping mechanism can result in irreversible damage as an effect of sexual assault later in life. Consider connecting to a specialist in sexual abuse for men to receive effective advice, comfort and support to heal from your trauma.
BetterHelp sexual abuse therapy for men is carefully structured to ensure professionalism, comfort and safety. With an array of experienced and highly qualified sexual trauma therapists, you have the advantage of choosing a therapist who you feel most comfortable with. BetterHelp therapists are available 24 hours for your convenience.
Why Do Sexually Abused Become Promiscuous?
Sexual offense causes various trauma responses. These responses are based on the victim as well as the severity and longevity of the sexual abuse experience. One common trauma response is sexual abuse resulting in promiscuity. Despite the assumption that sexual assault would dissuade victims against sexual activity or intimacy. As an effect of being sexually violated psychological processing and understanding of the trauma, consequently, leave victims feeling vulnerable. As a coping mechanism, sexual trauma victims respond by constantly seeking sexual intimacy for self-validation or as a form of control.
Consequently, this coping mechanism causes additional effects. It may further lead to physical, mental, and emotional challenges. These can be identified as;
- PTSD or CPTSD.
- Personality disorder.
- Low self-esteem and negative self-image.
- Emotional unavailability.
- Cognitive disorders.
- Depression, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts/attempts.
- Substance abuse.
- Unhealthy relationships.
- Challenges with intimate relationships.
Among a larger list of consequences related to promiscuity as a result of sexual violation, the above-mentioned indicators are the most common. Finding help to overcome promiscuity due to sexual trauma can be an uncomfortable and overwhelming experience. It is important to confront the early indicators and symptoms of sexual misconduct to heal holistically.
Many sexual violation victims become promiscuous after the trauma out of confusion and psychological disassociation. Understanding why is sexual abuse linked to promiscuity predominantly depends on what the victim did after the experience to process the trauma.
Avoiding dangerous coping mechanisms due to sexual abuse.
1. Cognitive behavioral therapy. A form of therapy that assists victims by helping them understand how their behaviors and thoughts can contribute to their distress.
2. EMDR Therapy. An interactive method of therapy where the trauma is addressed and released through physical movements or actions during sessions.
3. Supportive therapy. This offers victims advice on how to process their thoughts and exercise skills to self-soothe.
Healing from sexual trauma is a great way to reclaim your life. Through resolving trauma, you gain the ability to overcome and let go of the negative effects and consequences. It is entirely possible to heal from sexual abuse trauma and promiscuity as a result, however, you will need support and guidance.
If you are considering methods of healing sexual violation, connecting to a sexual abuse therapist that you feel comfortable with can alleviate your distress.
BetterHelp online therapy for sexual abuse victims is an effective, affordable and convenient way of healing. With direct access to your chosen professional sex and abuse therapist, you have the advantage of high-quality therapy from the convenience of your home.
Sexual Abuse in Relationships.
Sexual abuse can happen in a relationship, from a family member or a stranger. Identifying forceful sex in relationships can be challenging, many victims dismiss the abuse or validate it out of love or fear for their significant other.
Sexual abuse in a relationship looks very different from the inside as the victim, it is challenging to identify and address the situation. However, it is crucial to educate yourself on how to identify the signs of sexual violation in a relationship to address it effectively and seek help.
Signs of sexual abuse in a relationship;
- Being manipulated, coerced or threatened into sexual activity.
- Sex is used as a tool or form of power and control.
- Using guilt, shame, or intimidation to have sex.
- Forcing you to dress sexually.
- Holding you down against your consent.
- Forcefully having sex with you.
- Releasing personal anger or frustration on you during sex.
- Martial rape.
Unwanted sex in a relationship can have severely damaging psychological effects. These effects can develop and consequently impact future relationships. Being sexually violated in a relationship causes fear, anxiety, distrust, and emotional distress. It is a form of betrayal from someone you love and trust. These fears and effects influence future relationships. You may find that you are fearful of the same thing happening again, you might struggle to trust someone new or even be vulnerable with them.
Noticeable effects of sexual abuse in future relationships;
- Inability to trust. You may start questioning everyone’s intentions and actions.
- You may struggle to choose the right person.
- Lack of expectation.
- You feel overwhelmingly shamed and blame yourself for everything.
- Low-self esteem and lack of self-worth.
- Overcompensating out of fear.
- You have walls up and you keep your distance.
- You may experience intimacy challenges.
It is possible to heal holistically from sexual abuse in a relationship. It is an important initiative that abuse victims are encouraged to take to live a healthy life. The journey to lead go of the pain and resolve the trauma will require hard work, support and professional advice. Taking the step towards connecting to a sex therapist can be intimidating, you can try these suggested methods to begin your healing journey;
- Clarify consent and what it means to you.
- Identify and state your triggers.
- Keep a journal to keep track of your thoughts and feelings.
- Define your boundaries.
- Discuss your experience with a new partner if you feel comfortable.
- Ask for what you need.
- Consider joining a support group.
- Work with a trauma and sexual abuse specialist.
When entering a new relationship after the experience of sexual trauma is terrifying. In order to make sure you have a healthy, safe and secure relationship, it is important to discuss your trauma. This helps to create a stronger and more intimate bond between partners. Sexual offense victims can heal and overcome their trauma in a healthy relationship with the correct support.
We recommend to connect with a therapist, for sexually abused near me or online who are experiencing consistent or recurring symptoms, reminders, or thoughts. It can be extremely difficult to deal with sexual abuse trauma by yourself. A sexual abuse and trauma specialist is experienced and certified to guide, advise and support you through healing from sexuaI misconduct.
BetterHelp online sex therapists are experienced in helping victims effectively heal from the trauma of sexual violation. Connect to a certified sexual abuse therapist that is available to assist you 24 hours a day. Effective, affordable and convenient methods of therapy.
PTSD as a Result of Sexual Abuse.
What is PTSD? Post-traumatic stress disorder happens as a reaction to a traumatic event. PTSD causes a variety of symptoms and stress after a traumatic experience. It is common for sexual abuse victims to develop PTSD or C-PTSD (complex post-traumatic disorder). Studies show that over 45% of sexual abuse survivors experience the symptoms of PTSD in the aftermath.
The common symptoms of PTSD are reliving traumatic experiences, constantly feeling on edge and anxious, intentionally avoiding places and people that may trigger the trauma, fear and being easily frightened.
Sexual violation or forceful sexual acts can cause PTSD as psychological trauma response. When a victim experiences sexual abuse, the brain responds by trying to protect the individual and process the shock of the incident. This is one of the psychological signs of sexual abuse and an example of how sexual abuse affects the brain.
‘How does sexual abuse affect me later in life?’
Within the first three months of an abuse incident, sexual abuse victims need to identify the signs of the trauma. Additionally, to be educated about the potential future effects of abuse that they may experience.
- PTSD or C-PTSD.
- Severe depression and anxiety.
- Nightmares and flashbacks.
- Low self esteem, lack of self worth and confidence.
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts.
- Substance abuse or misuse.
- Eating disorders.
- Panic disorders
- Sleeping abnormalities.
- Challenges with intimacy or sexual fear.
- Lack of emotional connection.
As a sexual abuse survivor, at any stage in your life you may experience symptoms or triggers of the trauma. It is not to be overlooked but it is encouraged to resolve it. Sexual offense is known to have a negative impact on mental health,emotional health and overall wellbeing. The signs of PTSD for sexual abuse can be identified by taking note of your actions, thoughts and feelings.
- Physical or emotional avoidance. Avoiding anything that may remind you of the experience, or, avoiding and resisting the conversation about the incident.
- Intrusive symptoms and thoughts.
- Physical disturbances may occur, you may have trouble sleeping, concentrating and being hypervigilant to your surroundings and potential safety threats.
- Distorted feelings or thoughts. You may start to develop negative emotions or feelings about yourself or your experience.
- Isolating yourself from people and activities that bring you joy.
Victims of sexual assault and violation are at a higher risk of developing physical health complications such as; pelvic pain, digestive challenges, seizures, or arthritis. Additionally, behavioral and sexual health are affected. There may be a risk of experiencing little to no sexual desire after sexual abuse. This is a consequence of experiencing feelings of shame, guilt, pain or anxiety about sexual intimacy.
As there is no one response to sexual abuse, victims may conversely become promiscuous after being sexually assaulted. This is another symptom of PTSD due to sexual abuse.
We advise sex abuse victims to connect to a complex PTSD therapist near me that is experienced and certified to guide them through healing from sexual abuse trauma.
PTSD sexual abuse therapy introduces abuse victims to enhanced methods of dealing with trauma and PTSD from sexual abuse. BetterHelp offers 24-hour services from a wide variety of experienced, trained and certified sexual trauma therapists. Online sexual therapy is convenient, affordable and effective.
Sexual Abuse in Teenagers.
The signs of sexual abuse in teenagers are commonly overlooked and dismissed as, ‘teenage behavior’.
If you are a parent that is concerned that your teen may have been sexually abused or assaulted, you must pay close attention to their behavioral patterns and emotional state of being. The warning signs of sexual abuse in a teenager are not always easy to identify. If a teen has been sexually violated, they may not inform you immediately out of shame or fear. Many children that experience sexual trauma are more likely to keep it to themselves and show silent warning signs. Through behavioral changes and emotional well-being, you may be able to help your teen who has been sexually abused.
Take note of these physical, emotional and behavioral indicators.
- Unusual aggression or randomly angry.
- Complains of physical pain that is not real. Such as headaches or stomach pains.
- Struggles to make new friends or maintain relationships.
- May have emotional outbursts at random.
- Has disruptive or recurring nightmares.
- Sudden low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
- Questions their sexuality and sexual identity.
- They dress differently.
- They may receive gifts, clothes or money from unknown people.
- Avoiding frequently visited friends, relatives or places.
- They may be suddenly interested in sex or engaging in risky sexual activity.
- Substance abuse or exploration.
- Self-harm habits.
- They may become extremely secretive and sensitive about online communication.
- Changes in eating habits.
- Unaccounted bruises.
- Pain when using the bathroom.
- Swelling, redness or pain in genital areas.
- Trouble sitting or walking.
- STI discharges.
As a parent, it is always best to learn how to talk about being sexually abused before approaching your teenager. A sexual abuse therapist near me may be a helpful option when figuring out how to help a teenager who has been sexually mistreated.
The effects of unresolved sexual abuse trauma in teenagers can result in devastating long-term effects. Unresolved abuse trauma can develop into severe psychological and emotional complications. According to a study, a teenager who has been sexually harrassed is at high risk of being sexually abused again in adulthood. It is highly encouraged for adults to help a teenager that has been sexually abused.
‘How do I help a teenager who has been sexually abused?’
Approaching the situation with sensitivity and caution is important. When children sense that they may be in a vulnerable position, they may shut down and completely internalize the trauma. When helping a teenager who has been sexually assaulted, remember to;
- Assure them that they can trust you.
- Do not ask too many questions about the incident.
- Let them speak freely without imposing your emotions or thoughts.
- Tell them that they are safe and you will do whatever you can to help them.
- Ask them if there is anything you can do to make them feel safe.
- Reassure them that the incident is not their fault and that they are not in trouble.
- Try not to react even though it may be painful.
If a teenager reaches out to you about being sexually abused, it is your responsibility to protect them. If you are unsure of what to do next, contact the nearest child help center and they will guide you through the next steps.
The long-term effects of teenage sexual abuse can be avoided and healed before any further complications arise. It is important for adults and parents to connect to a specialist that can offer professional advice, support and guidance to help a teenager that has been sexually abused.