Surviving childhood sexual abuse

Mental Health Blog / Thursday, December 27th, 2018

Any sexual activity in which a person takes advantage of another in any way shape or form is sexual abuse. Sexual activities are only acceptable when they take place with lucid, consenting adults. There are no exceptions to this. None.

Although all forms of abuse are reprehensible, a child’s involvement makes them infinitely more so. Unprepared for the multitude of tricks in a sexual predator’s repertoire, children fall prey easily.

All forms of childhood sexual abuse fall into one of two camps: contact or non-contact abuses.

Contact abuses consist of but are not limited to:

  • Sexually touching any part of a child’s clothed or unclothed body
  • Demanding or encouraging a child to take part in a sexual act
  • Penetrating a child’s mouth, vagina or anus with any object or body part
  • Forcing a child to touch their or another’s genitalia

Non-contact abuses consist of but are not limited to:

  • Inviting a child to watch or listen to sexual acts
  • Exploiting a child
  • Meeting a child with sexual intent after grooming (making an emotional attachment with) them
  • Not doing what’s necessary to ensure a child is protected from sexual predators

Childhood sexual abuses are traumatic experiences in which the victim suffers disruptive emotions such as fear, anxiety, guilt and shame. These will continue to haunt them until they’re able to process what happened with the help of a professional therapist.

Currently, three of the most effective therapies available to deal with sexual abuse are:

  • Exposure therapy- A therapy in which they gradually face their fears and disruptive emotions, eventually learning they’re no longer warranted and that they can feel safe once more
  • Relaxation training- A therapy that empowers them to control their stress and anxiety levels so the traumas can heal
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy- A therapy that attempts to change their negative thought patterns by teaching them new skills

My approach to helping people deal with sexual abuse is integrative, which means I use a variety of therapies to give you the best healing experience possible.  Reaching out to get help is a huge step but please contact me in strict confidence.

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