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Impact of Abuse

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Impact of Abuse

Post  Joe_Morningstar on Wed Feb 10, 2010 5:59 am

The impact of sexual abuse reaches all levels of a childs emotions. These
emotions and the effects are listed below:


This is usually the initial reaction of the child. They will usually
question, "What is going on?" and " Is this right or wrong?". For a young
child these types of questions can be an emense burden on their
physcological development. Once the abuse begins the victim experience a
tremnedous conflict with their emotions. They feel pleasant due to the
attention they are recieving from the parent, as well as the sensual
pleasure. On the other hand they experience pain, guilt, and anger for
what is being done.

The question, "Is this right or wrong?" posses the greatest conflict
within the childs mind. The abuse feels so wrong yet the abuser insits
it is okay, taking advantage of the childs mistrust and naivety. Below
are the thoughts of an abused victim as she thinks back to her abuse and
questions her father. It is an example of this mistrust as well as the
confusion which goes through a childs mind.

Since I was a little ten-year-old child, I had to deceive and hide from
the world and my mother that my father took a sexual interest in me.
Remember how you taught me that art of deceit? First you put me in a
situation that had to be kept a secret then you pledged me to secrecy...As
a ten-year-old child, what was I supposed to do? You are an intelligent
man you figure out the options available to a ten-year-old in that
position." (Rush, 1980)


The abused will feel tremendous guilt for a numerous reasons: They feel
they did nothing to stop the abuse therefore they are responsible and it
should continue. They felt uncomfortable but the abuse was sometimes
pleasureable. They somehow deserved and/or caused the abuse. A victim
will usually feel this way when their self-esteem has diminshed and they
have no more answers for what is happenning.

A nine-year-old girl had a nightmare and went to her father's room for
comfort but instead he sexually abused her. The girl then concluded that
she caused the abuse by going to his room. The abuse thereafter continued
and she now felt she deserved for it to continue." (Landau, 1990) This
fictional example helps to further illustrate the final2 points which were
presented above. The guilt hits the child sohard that they are unable to
clearly see reality.

Another major source of guilt comes from the mother. Oftenwhen the mother
is told about the abuse she will not want tobelieve the accusations and
will blame the child. Other reasonsfor why the mother may pass guilt: 1)
she may feel inequipped tochallange the husbands domination in any area of
life thereforeshe shes passes the husbands faults and looks at the child.
2) The mother doesn't want to lose her husband. She does not wantto give
up the security provided by her husband and will blockout the abuse.


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