How should I react when someone tells me they were sexually abused? Does a particular sex act make you feel sick or scared? You deserve to have a healthy, positive sex life. For these reasons and many others, the effects of sexual abuse can occur many years after the abuse has ended. It can be difficult to hear that someone you care about suffered sexual abuse as a child. But sexual assault is not the same thing as sex, and you deserve to have healthy sexual experiences as much as anyone else. Are there certain spaces that feel safer for you to have sex?
It is important for you to understand that it was the person that hurt you that should be held accountable—not you. Healing is a process. Does a particular sex act make you feel sick or scared? Remember that there is no set timeline for dealing with and recovering from this experience. You deserve to have a healthy, positive sex life. This is normal and ok. Learn more about how to respond to a survivor and self-care tips for friends and family. Low self-esteem can affect many different areas of your life such as your relationships, your career, and even your health. Why do I still feel this way? Do you feel uncomfortable when a partner touches a certain part of your body? If you experienced sexual abuse as a child , you may encounter a range of short- and long-term effects that many survivors face. Try to be accepting of your identity, sexuality, wants, and needs. Are there certain spaces that feel safer for you to have sex? Remind yourself that wanting sex does not mean that you wanted the sexual assault. It can be difficult to hear that someone you care about suffered sexual abuse as a child. Guilt, shame, and blame. It is equally ok if your sexuality, identity, and desires remain the same. Remember that your sex life does not only occur with other people, but also in your own head. RAINN partners with 1in6 , an organization that helps men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences live healthier, happier lives. What are the effects of child sexual abuse for adults? Having a healthy relationship with yourself is crucial to having healthy relationships and sex with others. Some survivors keep the abuse a secret for many years. Check out their resources for family and friends to learn more about supporting a man who has experienced unwanted or abusive sexual experiences. You might feel guilty about not having been able to stop the abuse, or even blame yourself if you experienced physical pleasure. Adult survivors of child sexual abuse may have some of the following concerns that are specific to their experience: As an adult, intimacy might be a struggle at times. Some survivors experience flashbacks or painful memories while engaging in sexual activity, even though it is consensual and on their own terms.
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