Childhood sexual abuse is not about sexual activity but about the victimization of innocence.
Childhood sexual abuse comes in many forms, some of which include aspects that may not seem like abuse. Sexual abuse can be as simple as unwarranted fondling. Grooming of a young child from an adult is the most common form of sexual abuse. Rape and other forced sexual acts are the most obvious forms of abuse. However, a predator who is a family member or trusted friend can convince a victim that rape is an act of “love”.
Just as there are many forms of sexual abuse, the consequences of abuse are abundant. Survivors of sexual abuse can suffer from a variety of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, dissociative disorders, eating and sleeping disorders. Others struggle with alcohol and substance abuse issues. In addition to the emotional and psychological issues associated with sexual abuse, victims often feel isolated, blamed, and ostracized because of our society’s inability to face the problem head on.