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The Long-Term Harmful Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse


This April we have been focused on childhood sexual abuse (CSA), a crime that can cause long-term harm even as the child grows into adulthood. 1in 4 women and 1 in 6 men alive in the United States today were molested sexually before the age of 18. This means there are more than 42 million adult survivors in the U.S.

Today we will explore together the long-term effects that childhood sexual abuse has on, not only children, but to the adults they become.

A Short Recap

It would be remiss of me if I did not first give everyone a brief recap of what we have explored so far pertaining to childhood sexual abuse.

The actual prevalence of childhood sexual abuse is unknown because there are so many people who are victims and never tell their stories. Researchers have found and suggest rates that vary from 1% to 35% but most mental health and medical professionals rate childhood sexual abuse at 8% to 20%.

Although the prevalence of CSA varies, most professionals agree that there will be 500,000 babies born in the United States this year that will experience childhood sexual abuse before they turn eighteen years old.

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Thank you for this very insightful analysis.Building on your insights I am of the opinion that the whole field of medicine has been held back by psychiatry and the DSM's refusal to recognize the mental and physiological effects of violent trauma beyond "PTSD" (for example, from war, accidents and rape). Complex responses to child abuse and neglect, for example, can produce coping symptoms which satisfy DSM DX criteria (i.e. distraction and hyperactivity which looks like ADHD) or can produce standard DSM constellations of symptoms (e.g. anxiety or depression) which are far less responsive to standard treatments than other folks with the same "Dx."

The NIH no longer funds research based on the DSM paradigm.

Myself and several colleagues have a peer reviewed paper accepted for publication (and thus currently embargoed) which criticizes the DSM in great detail, especially with regard to complex trauma disorder and child abuse, and challenges its whole structure. We will use it as a tool in demanding a DSM total makeover. You should all join us in this effort.

I started my recovery a year ago in July, and only until the last month or so have I read more posting about peoples recovery or their future plans on recovery.  I did join Adult Children of Alcoholics and have been involved in Intensives online put on by Dr Gabor Mate who has excellent info and a deep caring when he gives his sessions. Dr Gabor can also be found on YouTube for free for those who want to follow him without making any commitment.

Thank you for your posts and your blog.  I will check back soon


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