What are the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse?

Science is only beginning to understand the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse on the body, brain, and emotions. The more we learn about and understand the effects of trauma, the more we can help ourselves and others.

The Child Abuse Didn’t Affect Me. I’m Fine. Should I Still Come Forward?

It is great that you are feeling empowered and in control of your situation.

We want you to look at the importance of coming forward from multiple angles: What coming forward can do to help others, and what it might still be able to do to help you feel even more healthy, empowered, and at peace than you feel today.

Even if you don’t believe the abuse affected you, coming forward can make the following positive impacts:

  • Public safety. We know that you don’t want any other child to be abused. Coming forward can expose the predator AND expose the church, school, institution, or people in positions of authority who allowed the abuse to happen. When you come forward and take legal action, parents will learn about the danger that the clergy member/school/church/camp pose to the public, and they can make more informed decisions about how to keep their children safe.
  • Empowering other survivors. When you come forward, you empower children who are currently being victimized to understand what is happening to them is wrong. You can also empower other sexual abuse survivors who have been shamed into silence.

It is also important to note that it can be very hard to self-identify the long-term effects of being molested as a child. It may be especially difficult for survivors that have come a long way in their healing process and feel more confident and self-empowered. Many survivors have gone from coping to thriving despite how being molested as a child affects adulthood.

Speaking with a therapist who specializes in understanding how child sexual abuse can affect a child’s brain development can be helpful to identify how coping mechanisms that helped survivors get through one stage of their journey may be getting in the way of the next level of healing and empowerment.

Throughout our decades of experience, we have worked with adult survivors of child sexual abuse from all stages on the spectrum of vulnerability and self-empowerment. Let’s talk and find out if pursuing legal action might just be the key that unlocks the door to your next level of greatness. We may help a lot of other people in the process.

I Have a Lot of Health Problems. Is Coming Forward Going to Make Them Worse?

The landmark Adverse Experiences in Childhood Study (ACES) by the CDC and Kaiser-Permanente shows that childhood traumas, such as childhood sexual abuse, can lead to adverse mental health outcomes and physical health issues later in life.

These physical health issues include cancer, diabetes, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, depression, suicide, shortened life span, and other mental health problems.

While coming forward will not “cure” you of any disease, speaking out and engaging in the healing process may help you and your body better manage systems and self-care. You may see improvements in your mental and/or physical health.

Throughout our decades of experience, we have worked with sexual abuse survivors dealing with every imaginable hardship and have helped people heal their lives and find peace and healing.

Contact us, and let’s find out if pursuing legal action might be the right option for you.

Is Child Abuse More Than Just Physical Abuse?

It can be, yes. Child sexual abuse can come in many different forms and is a complex issue that goes beyond physical harm, encompassing emotional abuse, sexual violence, and other forms of maltreatment. Adult survivors of child abuse often carry the scars of their experiences into later life. Emotional abuse, a significant aspect of child abuse, can lead to long-lasting psychological impacts, including anxiety disorders.

For those experiencing child abuse, the effects are not always immediately visible but can surface later as profound emotional and health challenges. Understanding the full scope of how abuse occurred and its long-term consequences is essential in supporting adult survivors on their journey toward healing and recovery.

Can Long-Term Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse Affect Me as an Adult?

Yes, the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse can significantly impact adults, often in complex and multifaceted ways. These effects extend beyond immediate emotional distress, potentially leading to a range of health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, and even a shortened lifespan.

It’s important to understand that these impacts might not always be apparent right away, especially for those who feel they have moved past their childhood trauma. Engaging in a healing process, often with the guidance of a specialized therapist, can be instrumental in uncovering and addressing these deep-seated effects. When you want justice or have questions about childhood sexual abuse that you think may be impacting your adulthood, we’re here to support you.

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