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What You Need to Know about Child Sexual Abuse

20-25% of all children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday, often by someone they know. Unfortunately, feelings of shame, fear and powerlessness–coupled with a lack of trust that anyone can or will protect them–prevents 9 out of 10 children who are being abused from telling anyone what is happening to them; and those who do try to tell are often misunderstood, not supported or not believed.

Without proper care, the effects of childhood sexual abuse are devastating and life-long, causing many psychological and physical symptoms over the course of the survivor’s life. Some common side-effects of childhood sexual abuse include but are not limited to:

  • depression
  • suicidal tendencies
  • self-injury/self-mutilation
  • job and career issues
  • low self-esteem or self-hatred
  • shame and guilt
  • sleep disturbances and disorders
  • lack of trust
  • revictimization
  • flashbacks/PTSD
  • dissociation
  • sexuality and intimacy issues
  • alcohol and drug abuse
  • eating disorders
  • long-term grieving

Through awareness and education, we can dramatically improve these statistics.

Children can be taught safe boundaries and behaviors; and what to do if someone is hurting them. Adults can gain a better understanding of this widespread social epidemic and how predators groom children for abuse, plus common symptoms of sexual abuse in a child and what to do if they suspect a child is being abused.

It is important to understand that child sexual abuse happens every day and causes serious, sometimes life-long effects.

It is equally important to understand: YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Be a part of the solution

Resources:
http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/about.html 
http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm05/cm05.pdf 


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