Statistics show that one in every five girls and one in every twenty boys will become victims of child sexual abuse. Sexual abuse among children is one of the most under-reported crimes, leaving children to suffer on their own. Not only do children who are harmed face immediate consequences, but the long-term effects of these traumatic experiences can have a lasting impact on their mental and physical health and well-being.
Understanding the long-term impacts of these incidents can help those impacted better understand why it is essential to seek help as soon as possible.
Long Term Psychological Impacts
Children who are sexually abused are likely to experience psychological harm. Many children experience these consequences well into adulthood. Reports indicate that by the age of 21, nearly 80% of abused children meet the diagnostic criteria for having at least one type of psychiatric disorder.
Some of the most common mental and emotional effects of sexual abuse include:
- Self-esteem issues
- Academic problems
- Behavioral problems (including sexualized behaviors)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Victims of sexual abuse are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than non-victims in the United States. Another 43% admit to having thought about suicide since the abuse took place. The mental and emotional consequences are devastating and have a significant impact on victims.
Common Behaviors of Sexual Abuse
Victims of sexual abuse are more likely to engage in several types of irrational behaviors. Studies find that nearly 33% of sexually abused children will eventually abuse their own children. Other studies find many common trends among victims, including:
- Abused children are more likely to become parents during their teens due to them being more likely to practice safe sex
- Roughly 14.4% of male inmates were sexually abused
- Approximately 36.7% of female victims were abused as children
- Sexually abused children are 2.5 times more likely to abuse alcohol and 3.8 times more likely to abuse drugs
Early intervention methods can help lessen the chances of these devastating trends impacting a victim’s life.
Help For Victims of Sexual Abuse
Victims of sexual abuse, especially children, should seek emotional support as soon as possible. Both counseling and therapy are effective methods for mitigating the long-term effects of their experiences. In many cases, long-term psychological and psychiatric care works best to help victims transition into different phases of their lives without being burdened down emotionally and mentally by trauma.
It is important that victims recognize that they are not alone. People are available to listen to them and help them get justice. Although the costs associated with psychiatric and psychological treatments are substantial, victims may be entitled to compensation to help cover the costs of care. Our personal injury attorneys at Monsees & Mayer, PC help people every day get the justice they deserve from those who cause them harm.
Monsees & Mayer, PC is Here for You
Working with a knowledgeable Missouri sexual abuse attorney from Monsees & Mayer, PC will ensure your best interests and legal rights are protected after being victimized by another person. Our team understands the difficulties you face as you move forward. For this reason, we provide proven and effective legal representation to help you get the justice you truly deserve. Contact our law firm in Missouri at (816) 361-5555 to see how we can help you.