Information for Survivors.
The impact of childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence and rape
The long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence and rape can include many emotional, psychological and physical conditions. The experience of sexual assault or abuse at any age and whether male or female can have devastating effects on every aspect of a person’s being and life – on their mind, their body, their behaviour, thoughts and feelings.
The following list includes some of the effects now being recognised and acknowledged as the consequences of childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence or rape on many victims and survivors. The Survivors Trust wants to stress that it is not inevitable that all victims will suffer from all effects – the mix, severity and complexity is a unique experience for each individual.
Post Traumatic Stress symptoms
Irritability and outbursts of anger
Alcohol Misuse and dependence
Confusion about sexuality
Self-injury and self harming behaviour
Transient psychotic episodes
Borderline Personality Disorder
Dissociative Identity disorder
Somatisation – Emotional distress experienced as physical pain
Increased rates of physical conditions like heart disease and cancer
Criminal behaviour (including for a small minority sexual offences)
Lack of confidence