Thesis Statement: Child sexual abuse has many negative effects on the victims of this act.
Purpose of the Paper: The paper aims at highlighting the consequences of child sexual abuse to the victims
Consequences of Child Sexual Abuse Social Phenomenon
Child sexual abuse is a modern social concern that the society faces. This problem has been highlighted by the means of advocates for the rights of children, and child abuse inquiries. Child sexual abuse can occur at the child’s home, schools, or in the society. Lewis defines Child sexual abuse as “a type of abuse to a child, where a grown-up abuses a child for the purpose of sexual stimulation” (23). Conversely, Jackson describes it as the involvement of child or children into a sexual activity that is aimed towards either physical gratification or monetary gain of that person who is committing the action. Whereas cases of Child Sexual Abuse can be traced back from long time in history, it still remains to be an elusive issue that is covered by indignity and embarrassment to the individuals who have been through such experiences, as well as their immediate family. Child sexual abuse has many negative effects on the victims of this act.
There are various kinds of Child Sexual Abuse which comprise of the following: forcing a child to take part in sexual activities, indecent exposure of an adult’s genitals to a child, showing pornography to a child, concrete sexual contact with small children, or the utilization of children in the production of child pornography. This paper evaluates the consequences of Child Sexual Abuse social phenomenon to the victims.
Child Sexual Abuse represents one of the main concerns that confront the contemporary societies around the globe. This social phenomenon is specifically distressful as it entails crime towards susceptible as well as impressionably children and may seriously influence their possibilities of maturing into normal, well-adjusted and successful adults. The incidences of CSA may result in distressful effects and influence lives. Child Sexual Abuse is as well the subject of great concern particularly among both the social workers and policy-makers as a result of its extensive prevalence in the society. It is, therefore, significant that a major emphasis must be placed on this social problem so as to determine what its consequences are, with the aim of addressing them.
There is indication that the survivors of CSA have high chances of developing different kinds of emotional inadequacies as well as mental disorders that can negatively influence their development as balanced and accustomed people. According to Bass, & Laura (12), there are studies that essentially indicate that adults who have been victims of sexual abuse as children portray a higher tendency of taking part in the Child Sexual Abuse actions. Lewis asserts “the incidences of Child Sexual Abuse are linked with substance abuse, low self-esteem, as well as sexual difficulties” (20).
Childhood sexual abuse, according to Jackson, is correlated with soaring levels of depression, sexual trauma, stigmatization, betrayal, and powerlessness. Other effects of sexual abuse to the victim (child) comprise of guilt along with self-blame, insomnia, nightmares, self-esteem concerns, suicidal ideation, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental diseases.
Depression is the most typical lasting symptom that survivors of child sexual abuse face (Winters 90). Survivor might have trouble with externalizing the sexual abuse, therefore thinking negatively regarding them. After a long time of negative self-thinking, the survivors of CSA have emotions of worthlessness as well as tend to avoid other people (Lewis 113). Winters illustrate the symptoms of sexual abuse victims as feeling down most of the time, having suicidal thoughts, accompanied by distressed sleeping and eating patterns.
Childhood sexual abuse survivors frequently go through guilt, shame, as well as self-blame. Bass & Laura asserts “most of the victims of this type of abuse assume personal responsibility for sexual abuse committed against them. In the case where sexual abuse to a child is committed by someone that the child trusts, it is possible for him (child) to perceive the perpetrator in a negative manner” (213). Children will tend to internalize most of the negative messages regarding themselves.
Body issues along with eating disorders have as well been cited as being one of the long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse. Winters (150) describes the signs that victims of childhood sexual abuse experience body image issues such as feeling ugly, displeasure with appearance and obesity. The distress that survivors possess may also lead to somatic problems.
Stress and nervousness are frequently long-term consequences of sexual abuse among children who have had this dreadful experience. Lewis asserts “sexual abuse during childhood is particularly terrifying and may result in high-stress levels long after the encounter is over” (87).
Victims of sexual abuse during childhood may tend to experience a hard time in establishing interpersonal relationships. The symptoms that are correlated with sexual abuse during childhood may hamper the development and advancement of relationships. The common relationship problems that victims of sexual abuse during childhood face include mistrust, fear of intimacy, and passive behaviors (Bass & Laura 112).In conclusion, even though research on the problem of childhood sexual abuse has come out with many consequences that victims experience, it is significant to note that every victim will have a different response. Although the consequences are perceived as disturbing experiences, there exists no single symptom in all the survivors. Therefore, it is important for clinicians to place emphasis on the personal needs of every client.