This precocious involvement in an attempt at a permanent union and starting a family was particularly marked for those who had been victims of abuse involving penetration. However, the overlap between the possible effects of child sexual abuse and the effects of the matrix of disadvantage from which abuse so often emerges was so The long term affects of sexual as to raise doubts about how often, in practice, child sexual abuse could operate as an independent causal element.
Long Term Effects Long term reactions include healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms, which may be beneficial social support or counterproductive self-harm, substance abuse, eating disorders.
Disrupted family function could, in theory, be related to child sexual abuse because of the disruptive influence of a perpetrator in the family.
Space does not allow a full review of The long term affects of sexual complex relationships between adult psychopathology and child sexual abuse but to illustrate the trajectory followed by such research in recent years, the literature relating a history of child sexual abuse to alcohol abuse in adult life will be briefly considered.
Learn more about how to respond to a survivor and self-care tips for friends and family. Other evidence suggesting a relationship between child sexual abuse and alcohol abuse came from studies of women with histories of child sexual abuse who were attending treatment for mental health problems.
These problems include drug and alcohol abusemental illnessand marital difficulties. A number of studies have implicated child sexual abuse in lowering self esteem in adults for review, see Beitchman et al. A child who has already had to cope with, for example, a problematic family background or prior emotional abuse, will be more vulnerable to the additional blow of child sexual abuse.
Trust Sexual assault is a betrayal of trust. Much has been written about the long term effects of childhood sexual abuse. Less than half of the victims felt able to confide personal problems to their partner, and nearly a quarter reported no meaningful communication with their partners on a more intimate level, whereas only 6 per cent of controls took an equally negative view of their partners receptivity to their concerns.
Clinicians who, on the basis of experiences with individual cases, seek to describe the role of the full range of child sexual abuse in generating disorder and disease in our community are likely to fall into error, just as epidemiologists fall into error when they attempt to deny any reality, or therapeutic benefits, to the meaningful connections constructed between child sexual abuse and current difficulties in a treatment process.
A child from a more secure and privileged background may well be equally distressed at the time by the abuse, but is likely to sustain less long-term developmental damage.
That experiences of sexual abuse, particularly when repeated or when involving a breach of what should be a caring and protecting relationship, leave no residual damage seems an inherently unlikely proposition.
A more controversial literature links multiple personality disorder with child sexual abuse Bucky and Dallenberg ; Spanos In this study, those reporting child sexual abuse were more likely to rate their partners as low on care and concern, and high on intrusive control. Mullen et al This is particularly the case when examining long-term deleterious effects that could theoretically result from child sexual abuse itself, or from those other childhood traumas and disadvantages with which it is so often associated.
These findings go some way to reconciling the observations of clinicians who discern clear and dramatic relationships in their patients between prior child sexual abuse and current symptoms of specific mental disorders, and epidemiologists who extract from their data less specific correlations that barely survive confrontation with confounding variables.
There was also a significant increase in the frequency with which the victims complained of what they perceived as negative and disruptive attitudes in their partners that caused sexual difficulties. On the basis of clinical observations, it has been suggested that women exposed to child sexual abuse may in early adult life respond by heightened anxiety about sexual contact with avoidance of relationshipsor a paradoxical promiscuity in which the victim devalues herself and her sexuality.
The clinician sees, almost exclusively, the most severely abused whereas the epidemiologist studies the full range of reported child sexual abuse in a community. The second possibility is that the apparent comorbidity could reflect a data collection artefact created by individuals who are prepared to disclose one type of abuse being prepared to disclose other forms of abuse Fergusson and Mullen in press.
When asked about the level of satisfaction with their current relationship, those with abuse histories expressed significantly lower levels of satisfaction.
The controls and those reporting child sexual abuse were equally likely to have been sexually active in the six months prior to interview, but child sexual abuse victims expressed significantly greater dissatisfaction with the frequency of intercourse, interestingly being more likely to complain of infrequency or an unwelcome frequency.
The state of flux leaves the child vulnerable to sustaining damage that will retard, pervert or prevent the normal developmental processes. Survivors may also have thoughts of being in a similar situation and "mastering" the traumatic event.
Sexually abused children not only face an assault on their developing sense of their sexual identity, but a blow to their construction of the world as a safe enough environment and their developing sense of others as trustworthy.
It can be difficult to hear that someone you care about suffered sexual abuse as a child. These early self-revealed victims, exclusively women, had often been the victims of incestuous abuse of the grossest kind, and plausibly attributed many of their current personal difficulties to their sexual abuse as children.
This greater chance of a drop in socioeconomic status relative to family of origin is a crude measure of social and economic failure, and suggests a wide ranging disruption of function that is particularly marked in those reporting the more severe abuse experiences.
Counseling and therapy are the best ways to mitigate the long term effects of sexual abuse. They may constantly think about things they should have done differently; emotion and intellect may be conflicted. This relative decline in socioeconomic status was most marked for women reporting the more severely physically intrusive forms of abuse involving penetration.
Some survivors experience flashbacks or painful memories while engaging in sexual activity, even though it is consensual and on their own terms. How should I react when someone tells me they were sexually abused?
Serious long term consequences of child abuse also include the following: Greater vulnerability to depression is found in women who lack an intimate and confiding relationship Henderson and Brown ; Harris ; Romans et al.
Early research The manner in which the long-term effects of child sexual abuse have come to be conceptualised reflects, in no small measure, the very particular circumstances that surrounded the revelation of child sexual abuse as an all too common event in the lives of our children.
Shaver EdsHandbook of Attachment,pp.This paper reviews recent Australian and international research on the long-term effects of child sexual abuse. It aims to assist practitioners and policy-makers who work with survivors of sexual abuse and their families to understand the significant findings from this large and sometimes complex body of research.
In the aftermath of a sexual assault or rape, survivors can face extremely difficult and painful emotions and experiences. Every survivor responds to traumatic events in their own way. The effects of the trauma can be short-term or last long after the sexual assault or rape. If you experienced sexual abuse as a child, you may encounter a range of short- and long-term effects that many survivors face.
Adult survivors of child sexual abuse may have some of the following concerns that are specific to their experience. Long Term Effects of Abuse If a survivor of child sexual abuse has not been in therapy or been helped along the way to cope with his/her abuse history, there is a range of effects that stem from the abuse.
The manner in which the long-term effects of child sexual abuse have come to be conceptualised reflects, in no small measure, the very particular circumstances that surrounded the revelation of child sexual abuse as an all too common event in the lives of our children.
The long term effects of childhood sexual abuse can be serious and that is why victims need psychological evaluation, care and treatment.
Victims need time to deal with what has happened to them. Long term psychiatric and psychological care is expensive and often is not covered by insurance.Download