Sexual abuse and its aftermath
The trauma of rape or sexual assault can be overwhelming, leaving you afraid, ashamed, alone, or haunted by nightmares, flashbacks, and other unpleasant memories. However, while victims may look at sexual abuse and its aftermath with sadness, the feelings of abuse at other stages are not as strong, overwhelming, or destructive as they once were.
Characteristic of children who have experienced sexual trauma
Children who have been sexually abused will show a series of emotional and behavioral reactions to life events such as death, birth, marriage, or divorce, many of which are characteristic of children who have experienced other types of trauma. Studies have repeatedly shown that child sexual abuse can seriously impact physical and mental health and subsequent sexual adaptation. Depending on the severity and extent of the trauma suffered, child sexual abuse may have long-term consequences.
PTSD is fairly common among victims of sexual assault
In addition, survivors of sexual abuse are more likely to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), often including flashbacks, nightmares, and disgust for places or people who remember the trauma. PTSD is fairly common among victims of sexual assault, with one study showing that approximately 70% of victims experience severe trauma, and 45% report symptoms of PTSD. Men and women who have experienced long-term sexual violence, such as domestic violence or human trafficking, are also at high risk of PTSD.
These women often talk about PTSD symptoms such as feeling numb, poor sleep and hyperexcitation associated with their environment », said Montalvo-Liendo. In addition, contact with many services, particularly those who do not specialize in sexual trauma, can increase the psychological level of survivors and physical discomfort (43).
The alarming level of PTSD among survivors of sexual violence provides strong evidence that current treatment options for rape victims are inadequate and need to be improved. In addition, the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among survivors of aggression is significantly higher than the prevalence of this disorder in the country. Again, this is strong evidence that current treatments for PTSD related to sexual abuse need to be improved.
Physical effects women who have suffered childhood sexual abuse
Physical effects women who have suffered childhood sexual abuse often show a wide range of symptoms. Whether they were injured or not during a sexual assault, survivors show higher rates of ill health in the months and years after the attack, including acute somatoform disorders (physical symptoms with no known cause ). In addition, chronic and widespread pain has been attributed to childhood sexual abuse, especially abdominal or pelvic pain, low pain threshold 7, anxiety and depression, self-neglect, and eating disorders.
Sexual abuse is not limited to women
According to the latest statistics, more than a third of U.S. victims of sexual assault under the age of 18 are abused by a family member. Some of the more surprising statistics found in the study of sexual abuse include that children are three times more likely to be raped than adults and that abuse of strangers accounts for a much smaller proportion of cases. Sexual abuse is not limited to women; many men and boys are raped and sexually traumatized every year.
One criticism of the current concept of rape trauma syndrome is that it invalidates the legitimacy of people’s responses to rape by describing their experience like rape or assault because they knew the perpetrator or because they had no power. Not asking about sexual assault can tacitly support the survivors’ belief that the violence has no meaning or medical significance and that the opportunity to intervene is missed.
Rape, Abuse and Incest Network (RAINN)
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual trauma, please contact your local health care provider or the Rape, Abuse and Incest Network (RAINN) for help or join other support groups for rape or sexual assault victims. Research has shown that sexually abused children recover faster and with better results, if they have a caring and nurturing adult (ideally a parent) in their life.
Interpersonal effects Adults who have experienced sexual abuse may be less adept at self-defense. As a result, victims in the external adaptation phase may increase their dependence on coping mechanisms, some of which may be adaptive, such as relying on support from family or friends, awareness, or increased self-care. Still, others may be counterproductive in the long run.
Role of post-traumatic separation
The role of post-traumatic separation, childhood physical abuse, and childhood sexual abuse in the development of PTSD and adult victimization. Sexual violence is any form of sexual violence, including rape, child molestation, incest, and similar forms of unauthorized sexual intercourse.