Childhood sexual abuse represents any kind of sexual contact between an adult or older teen and a child. One in six boys and one in four girls are sexually abused by the time they are 16 years old.
A child victim, now an adult, wrote to tell me that survivors of childhood sexual abuse make it their lifetime calling to forget about the experience. They want to eliminate the pain that happened a long time ago.
He told me the ways of escaping from the abuse are many. Sometimes it is alcohol or drugs, overeating, self-mutilating, sexually acting out or any behavior that gives momentary relief from the shame that is buried deep inside.
Because victims live with shame and self-contempt, they are reluctant to tell anyone, and the abuse goes unacknowledged and untreated. There will be physical and emotional problems and difficulties in relationships. Healing and recovery seem unreal and unattainable.
Some spend years in therapy, which is helpful to many, but keeping it a secret from anyone else typically remains a goal throughout life. This is the reason a healthy support group can be beneficial.
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