Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse is any type of sexual assault on a child under 16. It takes many forms: explicit sexual talk; showing pornography; sexual touching; lack of privacy to bath or undress; masturbation; and sexual intercourse. In more than three quarters of cases, an adult the child knows and trusts commits the abuse. The vast majority of abusers are men but women are also capable of sexual abuse.
Many children do not tell anyone about the abuse because they:
Are threatened with further abuse and violence if they tell.
Are afraid that no one will believe them.
Think they are to blame for the abuse.
Cannot describe or understand what has happened to them.
Want to protect the family or even the abuser.
If this happened to you as a child, you cannot be responsible for consenting to an act you didn’t understand, were forced into or had no choice about.
No matter how long ago you were abused, your feelings about what happened to you are important. You have the right to be listened to, no matter what you want to say. Through speaking about your abuse you may be able to overcome any difficulties that you experience as an adult.
The abuser is always to blame for the abuse. Some children are made or forced to abuse other children as part of their abuse. They often have no choice. They may be threatened with serious harm if they do not comply. If this happened to you, you are not to blame.