Child sexual abuse has been a severe problem in our world since the beginning of the human race.
For the longest time, it was something that went undiscussed and ignored by the mainstream public.
The victims of child sexual abuse were often too embarrassed or too scared to come forward and tell anyone what happened to them.
Now things have changed. Over the last few decades, more survivors of child sexual abuse have found the courage to come forward and tell their stories.
The public is no longer shutting them away as they did in the past. Instead, the public wants to hear from them so that they can hold abusers accountable for their violent and cruel acts.
Australia has been very progressive in assisting the survivors of child sexual abuse and locking up those who were responsible for it.
Many adults who were once victims continue to live with the painful memories of the trauma they incurred. This trauma usually has an impact on their entire life.
To understand this issue more clearly, below are the seven effects of child sexual abuse.
1) Depression and Anti-Social Behaviour
Most children are filled with energy and excitement. But if a child experiences sexual abuse, their entire personality and mood will change.
Rather than playing outside with their friends, they will become too depressed and distant from others.
It might even be difficult for the child to develop new friends and relationships in the future.
2) Alcoholism and Addiction
We all know that people get addicted to alcohol and drugs because it helps them relieve their pain, both physical and mental pain.
Child sexual abuse survivors deal with mental pain every day. Many of them choose to escape that pain with alcohol and drugs because they might not know there are other options available to them.
3) Suicidal Thoughts or Actions
When the mental pain of the trauma is too severe, some victims will think about committing suicide to escape the pain permanently.
Children who never learn to address their trauma are more likely to fall into this category. As they get older, the pain could drive them toward suicidal thoughts and actions.
Nightmares are prevalent among child sexual abuse victims. It could take them years before they ever get a good night’s sleep again.
Doctors might want to prescribe medication to help the victim sleep peacefully. But eventually, the child will need therapy to reduce the nightmares and mental anguish they experience.
5) Poor Academic Performance
If a child’s academic performance goes from great to terrible, then it could be a sign they have been sexually abused.
Child victims have difficulty concentrating on their schoolwork because the memories of their trauma continue to plague them.
School counsellors and psychologists should get involved right away when these signs are present in a child.
6) Anger Problems
Many children have temper tantrums and lose control at times. However, a child sex victim might stay angry consistently.
Children deal with their trauma in different ways. While some might seclude themselves and remain shy around people, others might lash out and show signs of rage.
7) Sexual Difficulties
Child sexual abuse survivors often avoid consensual sex when they get older. For example, if they ever have a boyfriend or girlfriend, they might not want to have sex with them because it will trigger bad memories from the time they were abused.
Where to Get Help
In 2018, the Australian Federal Government established the National Redress Scheme as a way to offer counselling and assistance to the survivors of child sexual abuse.
If institutional abuse took place in a facility, such as a foster care centre, then the National Redress Scheme would try to get a direct personal response from them regarding the abuse allegations. Redress payment may also be issued as a form of compensation.
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