Child Sexual abuse and mental health in adulthood, Psychologist Syed Muhammad Ali Jafri Urdu/Hindi

Our experiences in childhood play a big part in shaping our health and well-being throughout our lives. Sexual abuse in childhood can leave scars that can last for a long time. But many cases are never reported.
Some people feel very scared about reporting abuse. They may feel embarrassed, guilty or ashamed. Some people blame themselves or believe that they deserved to be abused. Others report abuse, but they aren’t taken seriously or believed. Sexual abuse is a crime. It can have a large impact on health and well-being.

Sexual abuse is any sexual contact between a child and an adult, or using a child for sexual purposes. It’s often done by someone the child knows and trusts. In BC, a child is anyone under the age of 19. Sexual exploitation is another form of child sexual abuse. It happens when a child is talked into or forced into sex acts in exchange for things like money, drugs, food or shelter.

Children living with a mental illness, learning disability or physical disability are more than twice as likely to report childhood sexual abuse as their peers. These health problems may also make it harder to identify mental health problems, like post-traumatic stress disorder, that are linked to the abuse.

While childhood sexual abuse can happen in any community, factors like poverty, homelessness, loss and racism can increase the risk.

Childhood sexual abuse can have a wide range of effects in adulthood. Some adult survivors experience few mental health problems, while others experience many mental health problems. Abuse is a kind of trauma. Trauma is a situation that’s shocking, intense and distressing.

Revictimization means that you experience abuse again at another time in your life. People who experience childhood sexual abuse are two to three times more likely to experience abuse as adults. Childhood abuse may affect the way adults interprets warning signs, understand trust and control in relationships, and expect others to act in relationships.

Syed Muhammad Ali Jafri


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