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The Impact of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse affects everyone differently. The impact is deeply personal and unique to you, but you may find it influences your feelings about yourself, the world and your relationships with other people.

You may find that you ‘forgot’ what happened to you, until a later point in life when memories resurface, and / or you may find the memories are hazy and fragmented.This can make it harder to understand or speak about what happened to you.

You should not be pushed to talk about your experiences. Being pressurised to speak about it can feel retraumatising. It is vital that we talk about painful past experiences, whatever they are, in our own time and in our own way.

Some of the survivors who approach us have difficulties around some or more of the following:

  • Use of alcohol and/or drugs
  • Sexual addiction or compulsion / avoidance of sexual intimacy
  • Struggles and difficulties in relationships
  • Rage and anger
  • The impact of post traumatic stress such as flashbacks and nightmares

This list is by no means exhaustive. As mentioned above, sexual abuse affects every survivor differently.

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