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Sexual Abuse Essay

2679 words - 11 pages

There is much to be said about an individual’s response to sexual trauma. The victim of that trauma has a high likelihood of creating an offence of their own, possibly using substance as a way to cope, or make any number of poor choices as a means of dealing with the abuse. What the sad thing is about it all is that many of the offenders begin as children who are powerless to defend themselves to someone who is usually in their Family. It is only through later acknowledging the trauma that someone can begin to understand the outcome of what happened to them from that incident. There are a number of outcomes that will be dicussed as well as the addiction itself and the healing ...view middle of the document...

al. 2011. Pg. 85), Through this is can be seen that sex abuse on children means more than just the sexual act most people would think of when they hear sex abuse. In the same way there are a variety of different abuses there are also a variety of different responses to which a child could later suffer. These responses can be mental or emotional and can continue to cause harm to the individual or someone else. With this in mind it is important to note that “it was reported that effects of sexual abuse on the individual depend on the relationship of that individual with the abuser, type of the sexual activity, presence of violence and physical harm, cooperativeness, age, level of development and pretraumatic psychological development of the child (Selvi et. al. 2011. Pg. 86). Because of such a wide variety of outcome there are a handful of broad outcomes that generalize what happens to someone who is sexually abused.
Outcomes of Abuse
It is interesting that with all of the research out there it can be seen that there is a common thread of outcomes and a common thread of common thread of coping mechanisms. The thread of outcomes that a person goes through when abused was stated by Selvi et. al. as, traumatized sexuality, feelings of betrayal, powerlessness, and stigmatization. Traumatized sexuality is when someone is deviated from their normal course of sexual development; feelings of betrayal come because most sexual assaults come from people that are close to the victim the victim is likely to feel betrayed; Powerlessness comes from the victim feeling powerless because they are weak and helpless which causes “anger, anxiety, nightmares, somatic complaints, learning deficits, criminal tendencies, and feelings of revenge in both childhood and adulthood.” (2010. Pg. 86). Then lastly stigmatization, which is the alteration of ego perception that can accompany the abuse where the child’s concept of them self changes to a combination of shame, evil, and guilt. Any of the above or a mixture of the above are common responses to sexual trauma and because of these a child is put in the position to decide how to cope with what has happened to them. Along with coping another aspect of a child’s response to sexual trauma is their desire to understand the trauma. So how is it that an individual copes with abuse?
There are a myriad of ways that someone can respond to childhood trauma and abuse. Laaser does not limit the family abuse to purely sexual but instead encompasses a myriad of different abuses a child may suffer to end up coping in an unhealthy matter. Nonetheless these ways are common coping mechanisms for people who have be through sexual trauma and they are; escape, codependency and religious addiction. What is interesting about escape is that it is not something that people physically do but it can also be a mental escape; as Laaser points out, Because sex addicts can’t tolerate painful feelings, they seek to escape the feelings through...

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