SEXUAL ABUSE IS NOT
A FAMILY SECRET,
IT'S A CRIME!
What is sexual abuse?
Sexual abuse is any act of fondling, kissing, oral sex, or penetration used for an adult's, or sometimes a teenager's, sexual gratification. It can also be talking excessively about sex, made to watch sexual acts or pornography, or made to pose for seductive or sexual photographs. Childhood sexual abuse can happen with any race, creed, nationality, gender, or religious group. Anyone can be affected. The abusers can be a father, mother, step-father, grandfather, uncle, aunt, cousin, neighbor, close family friend, or a stranger. Majority of the time, the survivors know their abuser. Although a higher number of abusers are males, females abuse children as well.
This type of abuse can have lasting effects on survivors. Some survivors suffer major life issues such as alcoholism, drug addiction, promiscuity, or unhealthy relationships. Other survivors have very little effects. It can be very difficult for people that have been abused to speak out about their experiences, especially when the abuser is a member of their family. In some instances survivors have suppressed memories, and won't remember the occurrence until years later, or sometimes not at all.
Although sexual abuse is a topic that is not popular, or not likely to be discussed, it needs to be addressed. 1 out of 3 girls, and 1 out of 5 boys will deal with some form of sexual abuse before they reach the age of 18. That count is not completely accurate because majority of the time the survivor will not tell. As long as they keep silent, survivors will never become overcomers. It is important for everyone to know that it takes courage to speak up, and additional courage to heal. Facing the abuse can be very difficult, but it is the first step to healing.
What are some of the effects of sexual abuse?
Victims/Survivors can also suffer from other issues such as depression and low self-esteem. As childhood victims become adult survivors it is important to know that there is hope, and healing is possible. It is our duty as a community to support and encourage these survivors as they move through the healing process. Their voice has a right to be heard!