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Sexual abuse

Unfortunately, sexual abuse is a reality in our society. It is simply identified as any act of forcing undesired sexual behavior on a person. This definition is expanded to include child sexual abuse (any form of sexual contact with a child younger than the age of consent, including sexual touching or penetration) by a family member, acquaintance or stranger, sexual assault (including date rape, rape or being a victim of another’s sexual exhibitionism or voyeurism.) Sexual abuse also occurs when a person is a victim of sexual harassment and sexual coercion when the victim is in a role or position of less power or trust and is forced to participate in unwanted sexual behavior. Therapy allows a safe place for victims to work through their pain and find hope.

Facts about Sexual Abuse

According to DoSomething.org:

  • Over a third of women who are raped as minors are also raped as adults.
  • 42% of raped women expect to be raped again.
  • Rape survivors are 13 times more likely to attempt suicide than are people who have not been victims of a crime.
  • 1 in 5 women (20%) will be sexually assaulted while at college while only 4% of college men will be sexually assaulted.
  • Most victims are assaulted by someone they know.
  • 42% of women who are raped tell no one about the assault.
  • It is estimated that only 5% of sexual assaults on college campuses are reported, making sexual assault the most underreported crime.
  • Rape results in about 32,000 pregnancies each year.
  • 40% of rape survivors develop sexually transmitted diseases as a result of sexual assault.
4 out of 5 rape victims subsequently suffer from chronic physical or psychological conditions.

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Signs of Sexual Abuse

  • Fear responses to reminders of the assault
  • Pervading sense of anxiety, wondering whether it is possible to ever feel safe again
  • Re-experiencing assault over and over again through flashbacks
  • Problems concentrating and staying focused on the task at hand
  • Guilty feelings
  • Developing a negative self-image, feeling “dirty” inside or out
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Disruptions in close relationships
  • Loss of interest in sex
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