Child sexual abuse is a heinous crime that has grave effects on the psychological state of victims. The trauma that results from this abuse can last for a lifetime and result in serious mental health issues throughout one’s life. If you or someone you know is a victim of child sex abuse and wants to learn more about its long-term effects, continue reading this post for more information. Then, consider contacting our office to take action against the abuser.
Can Abuse Affect You Years Later?
The simple answer is that yes, abuse can affect a person years later. This is especially true for repeated abuse that lasted over a long period of time. Children who were abused can feel the effects of the abuse throughout adolescence and into adulthood. Such effects include low self-esteem and repeatedly seeking out bad relationships.
How Does Childhood Sexual Abuse Affect Mental Health?
Childhood sexual abuse can have serious effects on mental health in the short- and long-term. Several studies have shown a linkage between childhood sex abuse and having a mental or behavioral health disorder later in life. One study, done in Australia, showed that women who had experienced sexual abuse as a child were more likely to have “mental health problems, low self-esteem, and problems with intimate relationships”.
How Do You Know If You Have Forgotten Trauma?
It can be difficult to know if you have forgotten past trauma. Some signs of repressed childhood trauma include intense fear of abandonment, an inability to cope with everyday stress, and having very strong, seemingly random, reactions to certain people. If you think you might have forgotten trauma, read our post on the signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults.
Long-Term Effects From Childhood Sexual Trauma
Victims of child sex abuse experience a variety of different long-term effects as a result of their traumas. A few of the most common effects are:
- Low Self-Esteem: Sadly, most children blame themselves for their abuse. These feelings are especially strong when the abuser is somebody that they knew, loved, or trusted. Carrying around this guilt can create a negative self-image in the minds of children that sticks with them throughout their lives.
- Depression and Anxiety: Together, depression and anxiety are the two most reported responses to childhood sexual trauma. These are also two of the most common mental illnesses that people struggle with in general. Symptoms of depression include feeling discouraged, sad, hopeless, and unmotivated. Anxiety can take on many forms, but general symptoms include feeling restless, irritable, and constantly feeling an impending sense of danger.
- Thoughts of Suicidality: Thoughts of suicide tend to be linked with depression, anxiety, and a negative self-image. When survivors of child sex abuse feel worthless or depressed due to their abuse, these feelings can lead to thoughts of suicide. What’s more, multiple research studies have shown that victims of childhood sexual abuse are much more likely to commit suicide.
- Problems with Intimate Relationships: Victims of childhood sexual abuse are oftentimes harmed by the people they loved and trusted the most. Experiencing this sort of betrayal can create difficulties later in life. Many survivors of child sex abuse experience problems maintaining healthy intimate relationships.
Schedule A Free Case Review
If you or someone you love is a survivor of child sex abuse and is searching to get the justice you deserve through legal action, our office is prepared to help in any way that we can. We know that taking action is part of the healing process for many abuse survivors, which is why we dedicate our best staff to such cases. If you are interested in taking legal action against your abuser, give our office a call today at 602-955-0055, and we will review your case for free.