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          Impact of Child Sexual Abuse on Victims

          November 17, 2011

          The damages caused by child sexual abuse last a long time without the proper healing. Dr. Phil explains the impact on victims:

          • Damage to self-concept/self-esteem, feeling “dirty,” or like “damaged goods”
          • Feelings of guilt, shame, despair and anger
          • Belief that sexuality/physicality is “all I have to offer”
          • High risk of promiscuity, hyper-sexuality, sexual identity problems or negative sexual encounters
          • High risk of teen pregnancy
          • High risk of aggressive and suicidal behavior
          • High risk of substance abuse and other acting out or high-risk behavior
          • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
          • Disrupted sleep patterns and nightmares
          • Regression to more infantile behavior (bed-wetting, etc.)
          • Problems with memory, cognition and attentiveness
          • Change in appetite or eating behaviors
          • Inability to trust others
          • Controlling behaviors or involvement in exploitative relationships
          • Powerlessness, vulnerability and avoidant responses, such as running away
          • Tendency to withdraw from relationships and society
          • A fear of intimacy or commitment
          • Paranoia/hyper-vigilance/phobias
          • Re-victimization
          • Higher incidence of mental and emotional disorders, such as anxiety, depression or eating disorders
          For more information, read: Child Sexual Abuse Warning Signs and Resources.

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