In the United States alone millions of the reports made alleging a child is being sexually abused are substantiated. The prevalence and frequency of child sexual abuse (CSA) is difficult to determine because it is often underreported. However, experts agree that the incidence is far greater than what is and has been reported to authorities. To add to the mounting uncertainty surrounding the prevalence of CSA, it is also not uniformly defined, so statistics may vary. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse often experience challenges establishing, maintaining, and trusting others. Opening up to others, exposing vulnerabilities can be terrifying for most survivors. Trying to form an intimate relationship may lead to frightening missteps and confusion. Not surprisingly, survivors often believe no one can be completely trusted and a loving attachment is not possible. Unfortunately, following a sexual assault many feel they are somehow damaged or flawed in some way, unworthy of truly being loved. Thoughts like these can wreak havoc in relationships throughout life.
As unfathomable as it might be, cases of sexual abuse and sexual assault happen far more often than we might think.
Even though most people think of women as the sole victims of sexual abuse, men also fall victim to this type of abuse.
Forms of sexual abuse include: