How will my child’s life change after being a victim of sexual abuse?
The truth of the matter is that victims of child sexual abuse may experience emotional and psychological trauma their entire lives. Sadly, victims of such horrible events can suffer socially—impacting their family and other relationships. While you may know that life is better for your child after the abuse has ended, your child still has a lot to process and deal with, and his or her life can change in the following ways:
- Trouble with social relationships. Child abuse victims often withdraw from their friends, sports, and hobbies—making it hard for them to have a social life. They often deal with feelings of loneliness, lack of interest in life, and a lack of self-worth. Some children suffer from PTSD and irritability and aggressiveness, which can affect their home life and social life. Unfortunately, many adolescents who have been abused attempt suicide. Make sure your child immediately sees the proper professionals for therapy for child abuse survivors so he or she doesn’t go down this road.
- Difficulties communicating. When children suffer such trauma, they often deal with feelings of anger. Unfortunately, children often become more defiant at home and even destructive with property. This can affect communication between you as the parent and your child—leading to trouble at home. This is why it is critical that children who have been abused see a psychologist who has handled cases of this nature.
- Problems at school. Many child or teen victims of sexual abuse might not know how to handle the trauma of the abuse and may start skipping classes and have issues with their teachers and peers. Unfortunately, their grades may drop—affecting their ability to graduate or move-up to the next grade. Additionally, troublesome behavior at school could be a problem that could eventually lead to suspension. This is why it is critical that kids get the proper treatment and support to deal with the effects of being abused.
Although these are three typical ways a child’s life changes after suffering abuse, it doesn’t necessarily mean your child will go through this trauma in the exact same way. To learn more about what you can expect during this time, we invite you to download a free copy of our book When the Unthinkable Happens: Your Guide to Florida Child Abuse Claims.