What is sexual abuse?


 

"Sexual abuse is any type of non-consensual sexual contact (to be consensual it has to be capable, informed, and unforced consent). this form of assault and abuse can happen to men or women of any age. Childhood sexual abuse is any contact or interaction (visual, verbal, or psychological) between a child or adolescent and an adult when the child or adolescent is being used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or any other persona. Sexual abuse may be committed by a person under the age of eighteen when that person is either significantly older than the victim or in a position of power/control over the child/adolescent."  - Dr. Dan B. Allendar, The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse

 

 

The Issue

Sexual abuse is not a new issue. It has been a problem in our culture long before the #MeToo movement. It happens in families, churches, sports leagues, youth groups, workplaces, college campuses, and communities across the nation every single day. The truth is, no one is immune. The damaging effects of abuse on the life of just one victim can have a profound impact on the lives of many. 

 

 

The Facts

  • Every 98 seconds someone is being sexually assaulted in America, and every 8 minutes that someone is a child.

  • 1 in 10 children in the U.S. will be sexually abused before they reach age 18.

  • About 90% of abuse victims know their perpetrator.

  • Less than 1/2 of the estimated cases of sexual abuse are ever reported.

  • There are over 42 million adult survivors of child sexual abuse in America today.

  • It's common for victims and survivors to keep silent, minimize what happened, and not tell anyone for years after the abuse or assault.

  • Any form of sexual abuse or assault is a crime, and in no way is it ever the fault of the victim.

(Statistics were taken from D2L.org, the NAASCA.org, and RAIIN.org.)

 

 

The Long Term Effects

  • PTSD symptoms, or the disorder itself

  • Fear and anxiety

  • Physical pain (abdominal, vaginal, headaches)

  • Hyper sensitivity to light, sound, or smells

  • Hyper sensitivity to certain places or people

  • Anger outbursts

  • Controlling behavior

  • Addictions

  • Promiscuity

  • Wreckless behavior

  • Depression

  • Thoughts of suicide

  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships

  • Problem with authority

  • Inability to obtain or maintain employment

  • Mental health problems

  • Learning disabilities

(Derived from The National Center for PTSD at ptsd.va.gov and Darkness to Light at D2L.org)

 

Next Steps


If you or someone you love experienced sexual trauma, you are not alone and there is hope for healing. Take the next step and connect with one of our programs.

 

Connect with a Mentor

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Join a JTH Support Group

Attend Hope Restored