Here's What We Know About Child Sexual Abuse
Child Sexual Abuse(CSA) is a form of child abuse that includes any form of sexual activity with a minor. CSA does not need to include physical contact between a perpetrator and a child. The traumatic effects of CSA could have a lifelong impact on the victim's mental health, that transitions from childhood into adulthood.
Girls with a history of child sexual abuse are 50% more likely to display cognitive ability below the 25th percentile.
Twenty-six percent of girls reported that their grades dropped after they were abused and 48% had below-average grades.
A history of child sexual abuse also significantly increases the chance of dropping out of school.[4,5]
Academics Post CSA:
The effects of child sexual abuse can be long-lasting and affect the victim's mental health. Victims are more likely than non-victims to experience PTSD, to develop symptoms of drug abuse; and about 3 times more likely to experience a major depressive episode as adults
Mental Health Post CSA:
Adult survivors of CSA may experience:
Women who experienced sexual abuse as a child, 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:
Guilt, shame, and blame. Women may feel guilty about the inability to stop the abuse, or even blame themselves if they have experienced physical pleasure. It is important for them to understand that it was the person that hurt them that should be held accountable—not the victim.
Intimacy and relationships. It’s possible that the first experiences with sex came as a result of sexual abuse. As a result adults may struggle with intimacy with their partners at times. Some survivors may experience flashbacks or painful memories while engaging in sexual activity, even when it is consensual. They may also struggle with the ability to establish boundaries that help them to feel safe in relationships.
Self-esteem. Some survivors may struggle with low self-esteem. This can be a result of the negative messages they received from their abuser(s), and having their personal safety violated and/or ignored. Low self-esteem can affect many areas of their life such as, relationships, careers, and even health.
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