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How Molestation Leads To Mental Health Issues

What we experience as child has a big part in our health throughout our lives. Sexual abuse is something that can leave long lasting scars on a child and most cases are never reported to authorities. This is because most child or even their parents are afraid to report it. Some feel embarrassed that it happened to them, guilty because they couldn’t stop it, or ashamed of themselves. Victims also blame themselves or think that they deserve it. But molestation is a crime and it has lasting effects on the mental health of a child later in life if not now.

The stats for sexual abuse in the North America are alarming. 1 and 3 girls and 1 and 6 boys are sexually abused and this isn’t even an exact number since most cases don’t get reported. Of those people that are sexually abused about 50% of the women that were sexually abused as a child and 25% of men, receive some kind of mental health services as adults. Children that have mental health issues, a physical or learning disability report abuse more often than children without a disability. And in some cases it is hard to determine if they have a mental health issue in these children.

While sexual abuse can happen in any community, there are some groups of people that have higher risk factors than other. People that are living in poverty, homeless, racism, or loss are at an increased risk. While 1 and 6 boys are the victim of sexual abuse, they are less likely to be recognized as a victim of abuse. And they are also taken less serious and don’t receive treatment for the sexual abuse. This is because men are seen as less vulnerable than their female counterparts and professionals in the mental health field are less likely to ask them about sexual abuse let alone acknowledge it.

The lasting effect of sexual abuse depends on a few things and how it will affect their adulthood. How much they experienced? How severe their trauma is? How close were they to the abuser? How long it lasted? How other reacted to the abuse once told? Victim of abuse are more likely to have trust issues, low self esteem, have a hard time with stress, are impulsive, can’t control their anger, dissociation with themselves, and some even self harm themselves, which leads to them getting mental health help.

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