Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has long been recognized as a significant public health problem. The prevalence of CSA is estimated at between 20% and 50% of children worldwide, with many cases going unreported. In addition to its impact on victims' mental health, CSA also has negative consequences on their physical health. A
A recent study by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) found that childhood sexual abuse was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, cancer, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, suicide attempts, and other psychiatric disorders.
This article explores the relationship between CSA and adult health outcomes. It provides information about the nature of child sexual abuse, its long-term impacts, and recommendations for future research.
Child sexual abuse is a crime that involves the use of force, threats, or coercion to sexually exploit children. It can take place between adults and children as well as among peers. The most common form of child sexual abuse occurs when someone who has access to a child uses his or her position of trust to coerce or manipulate a child into engaging in unwanted sexual activity. This may include touching, fondling, oral sex, anal penetration, intercourse, or any combination thereof.
Childhood sexual abuse can occur during any stage of development from infancy through adolescence. Although it often begins with overt acts such as fondling or kissing, it may also begin with more subtle forms of manipulation, such as using alcohol or drugs to influence the victim's behavior. Some abusers are known to groom their victims by gradually building up trust over time before they initiate sexual contact.
There is no single cause of CSA; however, researchers believe that several factors contribute to the risk of exposure. Risk factors include family violence, parental substance abuse, poverty, poor parenting skills, lack of supervision, and mental illness.
Children who are exposed to CSA are at increased risk for a number of negative physical and mental health consequences. A study found that children who had been sexually abused were twice as likely to have asthma as non-abused children. Other research has shown that children who have been sexually abused are more likely to have chronic pain conditions, headaches, stomachaches, sore throats, ear infections, and difficulty sleeping.
Children who have been sexually abused may also display signs of PTSD. This condition occurs when an individual experiences or witnesses a traumatic event and feels intense fear, helplessness, horror, or grief. Symptoms of PTSD include intrusive memories, flashbacks, nightmares, irritability, feeling numb or detached, and avoiding situations that remind you of your past trauma.
Other common reactions to childhood sexual abuse include:
The effects of CSA on victims' lives can last throughout adulthood. Survivors often experience difficulties with intimacy, relationships, employment, and self-image. Some victims become addicted to alcohol or drugs.
In addition to the psychological trauma caused by sexual abuse, there is evidence that victims may face physiological changes that increase their vulnerability to certain diseases. For example, some studies suggest that people who were abused as children are more susceptible to HIV infection. They may also be more vulnerable to developing breast cancer due to hormonal changes associated with early puberty.
According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, approximately 1 million adults in the United States have experienced child sexual abuse. Although these numbers are small compared to the total population, this group represents a large percentage of individuals with significant emotional distress.
Most adult survivors of CSA will never seek help that they could have prevented the abuse.
Child sexual abuse in Maryland is a crime that has been going on for decades, and it’s still an issue today. It can happen anywhere at any time, and there are many different ways that people can be affected by this type of crime. There are many different types of child sexual abuse, including physical, emotional, psychological, and verbal forms. In some cases, the abuser may even use drugs or alcohol to manipulate their victims into doing what they want them to do.
It can be very difficult to deal with child sexual abuse when you were abused yourself. Every person reacts to abuse differently. Therapy is a good place to start when you are ready for help. There are many different types of therapies that can help target depression, eating disorders, and drug abuse.
If you're concerned about your child's safety or if you suspect they've been victimized by a family member, friend, babysitter, teacher, coach, neighbor, or relative, talk with them about what happened.
Call your local police department to file a report and then contact a local attorney to help guide you through the next steps.
Sexual abuse lawyers help victims of child sex crimes navigate the legal system and recover compensation for damages suffered as a result of the crime. They also provide counseling services to survivors of sexual abuse.
Maryland has a statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, similar to many other states. In 2017, a law extended this statute for abuse that occurred as a child, including claims for negligence. This took the time period from 7 years to up to 20 years after turning 18. This means that abuse victims can file a case up until they turn 38, and this case can be against the perpetrator or other entity. As soon as you are ready or remember child abuse, it is best to come forward so the statute of limitations does not run out.
At Maryland Injury Guys we take child sexual abuse very seriously. It is a terrible crime that can affect children for the rest of their lives. By speaking out about your abuse, filing a police report and speaking with an attorney to file a lawsuit, you can begin your path to healing.
If you are an adult survivor of sexual abuse, contact one of our local Maryland child abuse law offices today. We offer free consultations and our phones are available 24/7. An attorney can determine the possibility of filing a lawsuit and advise the best course of action.