The Secret Life of a Child Molestation Victim
The effects and feelings that overcome one, usually on a daily basis after dealing with child molestation is varied, but generally similar.
There are many things that contribute to how a child reacts, as it depends on their personality, the way they cope with things and their emotional makeup. It also depends on how old the child was when molested, who abused them and for how long the molestation went on for, as well as many other factors.
There are no doubts that "Childhood sexual abuse is... an overwhelming, damaging, and humiliating assault on a child's mind, soul, and body...The abuse invades every facet of one's existence." This was written by Beverly Engel in The Right to Innocence and is aptly put and can not be denied.
Deep emotional scaring is caused when a child does not receive the love and care needed for recovery. A child does not know where to turn or what to do. They very rarely ever speak out about the abuse.
In many childhood sexual abuse cases it is easier for parents to turn a blind eye then have to face the reality of what they may suspect. This is especially true when they suspect a partner, a friend, or someone close to them.
Many do not know if their child is being sexually abused. Nor do they know what to do if they find out their child is being molested.
The possible symptoms of abuse are discussed in another article.
The effects of molestation are compounded by the way the child (and later grown up) is dealt with. If they have not been treated with love and support, the feelings of self hate and self loathing they already feel will manifest into far worse problems.
It also amplifies the feelings of despair and hopelessness which they already feel. This can lead to despondency and other severe mental and emotional problems whilst as an adult and later in life.
Interrupted Development of a Child
Each child is developing and learning. They are forging their own path, learning trust and love. When a child is sexually abused, this process is corrupted by the abuser.
No longer does the child feel safe and confusion sets in. Their developmental stage has been thrown off track and the child is now having to deal with things no child should have to think about let alone experience.
Child sex abuse is rightly termed "the ultimate betrayal". Depending on the age of the child, they don't understand the acts that are forced on them. Their body and their mind are not prepared for the sexual activity that is forced on them. Sexual arousal is triggered before its time. No child should have to deal with this, nor the emotions and feelings that overwhelm them. The effects of sexual abuse will take their toll and no one should minimise these effects.
Unless they get help, they will suffer from symptoms such as emotional shut down, low self esteem, shame, rage, guilt, powerlessness, and an inability to relate to other people. These are only a few of the debilitating effects of child molestation.
Becoming An Adult
As discussed many times on this site relationships are very hard for victims to maintain. Sex in marriage can become non existent, many times due to flashbacks or the aversion to being touched.
On the other end of the scale, there are victims of sexual abuse who are constantly having sex with strangers and others who may have become prostitutes, and hate themselves for it, but can't stop. (We are not referring to those who have not been abused, who choose this as a way of life and are happy with their choices.)
This can be due to sexual feelings that must satiated, or the feeling of low self worth or self loathing. There are many emotions and effects involved in childhood sex abuse, and although the symptoms are similar everyone deals with it differently.
Regardless, help for recovery is necessary after childhood molestaton and should be sought in order to achieve a healthy relationship and happiness later in life.