The effects of childhood sexual abuse are different for every child, but can include problems with behavior, interpersonal skills and psychological issues. Research shows that there are positive outcomes associated with early treatment following a disclosure of sexual abuse (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2004).
Sexual abuse can lower self-esteem, increase risk of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-mutilation and risk of suicide. With early treatment and the support of parents/caregivers these risks are lowered. It is important to listen to your child/loved one, and continues to seek out professional counseling services. Counseling may only be necessary for a brief amount of time, but the sooner an appointment is made, the better. It may take going to more than one counselor for your child/loved one to find one he/she will open up to. Keep in mind that it is important to ask your child/loved one if he/she has a preference in seeing a male or female counselor. Remember to stay patient with your child/loved one, and believe that you as a parent are doing a great job just in your belief and support of your child. For information on counselors and support groups in your area, please visit the United Way 211 Website by clicking here. You can also visit the resources section of our website by clicking here. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider to find counselors in your network.