The Long Term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse

Topics: Human sexual behavior, Child abuse, Child sexual abuse, Human sexuality / Pages: 48 (11934 words) / Published: May 16th, 2013




Childhood sexual abuse is a serious concern that has been associated with long term effects amongst survivors. Using secondary data, this qualitative piece of research explores the long term effects of child sexual abuse in later adult life. The purpose for this study is to create awareness to professionals that sexual abuse effects continue long after the abuse stops thus, sufficient knowledge on the characteristics of the abuse. The long term effects focuses on three developmental domains; emotional social and behavioural. The emotional aspect looks at depression, feelings of guilt and anxiety. The social aspect focuses on relationships and intimacy, and the behavioural aspect will discuss issues self-destructive behaviours. Results from the research highlight that the long term effects are not consistent across the three domains. Thus, child sexual abuse is viewed as a risk factor, as opposed to an actual cause to the effects. Nevertheless, knowledge on the long term effects is imperative, to provide appropriate support and services. Research recommendations are discussed.


The writing of this dissertation has been one of my biggest challenges thus far; as emotional as it was, I am pleased that I decided to follow through with my chosen topic. I have learnt so much in the process, both academically and personally. This dissertation would not have been possible without the support and guidance of several individuals.
First and foremost, I would like to give thanks to God for providing me with the strength and courage to undergo such a huge challenge.
I would like to say a special

Cited: in Corby (1993 p.123, Beitchman et al 1991) raised an important argument; they suggested that age needs to be considered in conjunction with other variables. Studies have found a link between the duration of the abuse and the trauma of CSA 3.3 Emotional There have been numerous studies examining the association between a history of CSA and emotional distress, (Sanderson 2002, Beitchman et al 1992, Mullen and Fleming 1999) Jehu et al (1985) provides clinical evidence to reflect Tsai and Wanger (1978) theory. In their study 82 per cent of survivors blamed themselves for the abuse; this was mainly down to their feeling of guilt. 3.4 Emotional Discussion 3.7 Behavioural According to Thompson (2012) it is possible that repressed or forgotten abuse may manifest itself in adult life by out-of-control behaviours which can lead to the abuse of self and/or others.  Alexander, C. (1992) Application of attachment theory to the study of child sexual abuse, Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 60 ,p.185- 195. Allnock, D. (2010) Children and young people disclosing sexual abuse. [Online]. Available at: [Assessed: 18th April 2012]. Attewill, F. (2012) Every 20 minutes, a child is sexually abused in Britain. The Metro, 4 April 2012, p.39. Bagley, C. and Ramsey, R. (1986) Sexual abuse in childhood: psychological outcomes and implications for social work practice. Journal of Social Work and Human Sexuality 4, p.33 – 47. Baker, W. and Duncan, P. (1985) Child sexual abuse a study of prevalence in Great Britain. Child Abuse and Neglect 9, p.457 -467. Bala, N. (2006) Outline of Evidence. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed February 15th 2012]. Barnardos. (2012) Child Sexual Exploitation. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 15th May 2012]. Batten, V Batty, D. (2005) Timeline: A history of Child Protection. The Guardian, 18 May 2005, p.19. Bentovim, A. Miller, L. and Furniss, T. (2009) Therapeutic approach to sexual abuse. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed on 3rd February 2012].

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