Child Sexual Abuse and Mental Health

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Sociology

Document 1

Sexual abuse takes many forms which include rape, fondling, exposure to voyeurism, commercial sex as well as sexual assault (NSVRC, 2012). Child sexual assault is considered maltreatment of children which includes both physical abuse and psychological abuse to the child being abused (NSVRC, 2012). Sexual violence has both physical and mental effects on children and adults. Sexual child abuse is not rare and on average; one out of every four girls experiences sexual abuse whereas an average of one out of six boys experiences child abuse (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, n. d. Children who are sexually abused experience both mental disorders such as anxiety and depression as well as other external disorders which may affect their general life. The paper looks to examine whether gender and race influence the development of mental disorder in sexually abused people. Mental disorders affect people’s emotional and social abilities. Child sexual abuse involves children in sexual acts which they cannot fully comprehend; the acts take place without their consent. Some adults exploit and use children as prostitutes, they also use children to make pornography or make them engage in unlawful sexual acts for their pleasure. WHO, n. d. Child sexual abuse is prevalent with about 70 percent of sexual assault cases being of children below 18years. Most children are sexually abused by people known to them at times some are close family members. Sexual abuse has detrimental effects on children. There are both physical and psychological effects on the children. The physical effects include contacting STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, eating disorders, sleeping disorders and at times suicidal attempts.

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Mental effects include Personality disorders, Post-traumatic stress disorders, depression, and anxiety. Sexually abused children tend to withdraw from the world due to the harrowing experiences. Child sexual abuse can be through contact or no contact. If they give children attention especially when they are not getting it from their guardians or parents children fall prey into their plans (NSVRC, 2012). Some sexual abusers threaten children to keep them from telling anyone about the abuse they may be experiencing (NSVRC, 2012). Through this manipulation, they can keep children quiet and abuse them for a long period. The societal stand also makes it difficult for children to share when they experience any form of sexual abuse. Most people ignore children when they try to share with them their experience (NSVRC, 2012). A person that is mentally well is stable and can cope through any normal stress levels experienced in life and can work effectively without any disruption that can harm their general contribution to society (Mental Illness Facts and Statistics, n.

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d. Mental illness can be said to be an illness that interferes with a person’s emotional and social ability significantly (Mental Illness Facts and Statistics, n. d. Mental illnesses are of different types and have different magnitudes of severity. Mental health is caused by various factors, and sexual abuse is one of them; the mental illnesses caused by sexual abuse include hypomania, bipolar, mood disorders, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorders, anxiety, and depression. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs when someone has feelings of stress, anxiety, and fear that is very intense due to a bad experience (The range of health impacts which can result from child sexual exploitation, n. d). Most children who suffer sexual abuse tend to experience this. Most children get this mental disorder through relieving their experiences.

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The abuse causes children to have chronic anxiety, tension and at times anxiety attacks (Hall, M. Hall, J. Childhood sexual abuse is very traumatic and can cause anxiety similar to that of a person who has experienced war (Hall, M. Hall, J. Depression has also been a big mental disorder caused by child sexual abuse (Hall, M. Statistically more women suffer mental disorders due to child abuse. Gender can be said to be a factor that boosts the development of mental disorders, but more females get abused when compared to males. When looking at the bipolar mental disorder, 2. percent of men suffer this mental disorder whereas 2. percent of women suffer from the mental disorders (Meng & Carl D’Arcy, 2016). From this statistics, one can see that more women have mental disorders in comparison to their male counterparts.

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The various mental disorders have statistics showing the number of people suffering from them as a result of child abuse. According to Mang and Carl D’Arcy; about 5. percent if the general population suffer from bipolar due to sexual abuse (2016). percent of people suffer from depression that is caused by sexual abuse (Meng & Carl D’Arcy, 2016). Indians had the highest rate standing at 44 percent (Rehman & Owen 2013), followed by Pakistanis at 35 percent, the Caribbean at 26 percent and Africans at 17 percent (Rehman & Owen 2013). Mental outcomes are associated with a history of child abuse. In the general population, child abuse has more effects among racially/ethnically minorities as compared to white people (Balsam et al. The abuse leads to posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and increase in stress (Balsam, et al. These mental disorders are increased due to the environment the minorities live in.

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The main key to preventing child sexual abuse dealing with this is communication. Parents can teach children a bit about sex education and the fact that they should not be touched inappropriately by anyone (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, n. d. Patents can teach their children that not only strangers can harm them but also people around them (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network, n. d. Sexual disorders have incredibly severe effects that affect the victims both mentally and physically. Most sexually abused children suffer from various mental complications due to the trauma they suffer from the incidences. More women suffer from mental abuse due to sexual disorders, and this may be because more women get sexually abused in comparison to men. Statistically one can say that more women suffer from emotional, mental disorders in comparison to their male’s counterparts.

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Ethnically the minority ethnical groups suffer from mental disorders caused by childhood sexual abuse. D’Arcy, C. November 15). Gender moderates the relationship between childhood abuse and internalizing and substance use disorders later in life: a cross sectional analysis. Retrieved March 08, 2018, from https://bmcpsychiatry. biomedcentral. Hall, J. The long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse: Counseling Implications. Retrieved from http://counselingoutfitters. com/vistas/vistas11/Article_19. pdf Mental health foundation. Beadnell, B. Circo, E. n. d. Childhood Abuse and Mental Health Indicators Among Ethnically Diverse Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults.

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