child sexual abuse

Good Essays
Child Sexual Abuse
Siping Chen
Laney College
Psych 7A
April 10, 2014

Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse does not have a universal definition. However, a central characteristic of any abuse is the dominant position of an adult that allows him or her to force or coerce a child into sexual activity (American Psychological Association). Yet all offences that involve sexually touching a child, as well as non-touching offenses and sexual exploitation, are just as harmful and devastating to a child’s well-being. Touching sexual offenses, such as fondling; making a child touch an adult’s sexual organs; and penetrating a child’s vagina or anus no matter how slight with a penis or any object that doesn’t
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In these cases, adult survivors of sexual abuse may come forward for the first time in their 40s or 50s and divulge the horror of their experiences (AHA). In most instances, the survivor never discussed the abuse with others while it was occurring. In fact, many survivors do not remember the abuse until years after it has occurred, and may never be able to clearly recall it (RAINN).
The effects of sexual abuse extend far beyond childhood. Children and adolescents who have been sexually abused can suffer a range of psychological and behavioral problems, from mild to severe, in both the short and long term. Sexual abuse robs children of their childhood and creates a loss of trust, feelings of guilt, depression, anxiety, fear, sexual dysfunction, withdrawal, and acting out. Additionally, high levels of anxiety in these adults can result in self-destructive behaviors, such as alcoholism or drug abuse, anxiety attacks, situation-specific anxiety disorders, and insomnia (APA). Revictimization is also a common phenomenon among people abused as children. Research has shown that child sexual abuse victims are more likely to be the victims of rape or to be involved in physically abusive relationships as adults are. In short, the ill effects of child sexual abuse are wide ranging. Some children even report little or no psychological distress from the abuse, but these children may be either afraid to
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