When I think of the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State, I wonder why the news media doesn’t talk about the harm abuse does to children. Public awareness on the devastating effects victims endure for years might finally break the silence.
Sexual abuse has such an overpowering, crushing, and degrading assault on a child’s psyche that he or she cannot escape without emotional damage. The abuse assaults every aspect of the child’s being: his ability to be successful, to trust others, and physical health. Victims may become self-destructive, domineering, and abusive to others. In addition they may develop an obsession for alcohol, drugs, and food as well as being drawn to lovers who, in turn, abuse them verbally, physically, and emotionally. Victims come to feel ashamed, guilty, powerless, depressed, afraid, and angry.
As time goes by, the emotional damage takes its toll. Adult survivors that have not sought help may find the pain that has been hidden for years suddenly becomes unbearable. Anger once successfully repressed begins surfacing, causing those who have been abused to become abusive – either to others or to themselves. Feelings of dread suddenly turn into panic attacks, or paranoia, which is displayed in intense and irrational mistrust, a sense of rage, hatred, and betrayal. Chronic depression increases in intensity, causing longer and longer periods of suffering; suicidal thoughts become suicide attempts.
Years ago, little if any counseling resources were available for victims of sexual abuse. If you are of that era, it not too late to get help now. The little child inside you still needs help. This is one wound time does not heal.
What are your thoughts of the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State? How does it make you feel?
Source: Pandora’s Project
Caring for Victims