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If you have discovered that your child has been sexually abused, you will want to know what you can do to lessen the impact of what has happened to them. If you are an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, you also may want to take steps to lessen the symptoms you are experiencing.
All too often, children are abused by the people they know. In fact, that is the case in more than 90% of all instances of child sexual abuse. Many times, the abuser is a member of the clergy or religious group.
If the abuse victims is still young, then you as the parent or guardian have a valuable role to play. First, here are some things to keep in mind:
After you make a report to authorities, you should find a qualified child counselor or psychologist who specializes in treating survivors of child sexual abuse. Because so many survivors of childhood sexual abuse experience emotional and psychological problems into adulthood, the sooner they receive counseling, the better.
Your child should have an environment where they can discuss and explore what happened to them on their own terms. Early treatment will lead to better adulthood outcomes.
If you are a childhood sexual abuse survivor and are now an adult, you also need to know where to turn for help. Every case is different, and no two sexual abuse survivors go through the same range of symptoms at the same time in their lives. Some childhood sexual abuse victims experience emotional and psychological trauma from the moment the abuse occurs throughout their entire lives. Others may not experience any symptoms until much later in life.
Some of the most common symptoms of abuse that occur in adulthood include:
Many victims of childhood sexual abuse do not even realize they have been abused until much later in life. This could be because they were so young when the abuse happened that they forgot. It could also be because their brain pushed the traumatic experience to the deepest recesses of their minds. Regardless of when a person discovers they have been abused, or whether they never forgot the abuse, adult survivors should seek counseling to work through the experience.
Adult child sexual abuse survivors should also consider securing an injury attorney about their options for seeking justice. While nothing can erase what happened, holding the abuser accountable could bring some closure to the situation.