Winter Will Be Here Soon -- Study hard as finals approach...


 
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Impact of Abuse

 

The impact of sexual abuse reaches all levels of a childs
emotions. These emotions and the effects are listed below:
Confusion:
 
This is usually the initial reaction of the child. They
will usually question, "What is going on?" and " Is this
right or wrong?". For a young child these types of
questions can be an emense burden on their physcological
development. Once the abuse begins the victim experience a
tremnedous conflict with their emotions. They feel pleasant
due to the attention they are recieving from the parent, as
well as the sensual pleasure. On the other hand they
experience pain, guilt, and anger for what is being done.
 
The question, "Is this right or wrong?" posses the greatest
conflict within the childs mind. The abuse feels so wrong
yet the abuser insits it is okay, taking advantage of the
childs mistrust and naivety. Below are the thoughts of an
abused victim as she thinks back to her abuse and questions
her father. It is an example of this mistrust as well as
the confusion which goes through a childs mind.
 
"Since I was a little ten-year-old child, I had to deceive
and hide from the world and my mother that my father took a
sexual interest in me. Remember how you taught me that art
of deceit? First you put me in a situation that had to be
kept a secret then you pledged me to secrecy...As a ten-
year-old child, what was I supposed to do? You are an
intelligent man-you figure out the options available to a
ten-year-old in that position." (Rush, 1980) Guilt:
 
The abused will feel tremendous guilt for a numerous
reasons: - They feel they did nothing to stop the abuse
therefore they are responsible and it should continue.
 
- They felt uncomfortable but the abuse was sometimes
pleasureable.
 
- They somehow deserved and/or caused the abuse. A victim
will usually feel this way when their self-esteem has
diminshed and they have no more answers for what is
happenning.
 
"A nine-year-old girl had a nightmare and went to her
fathers room for comfort but instead he sexually abused
her. The girl then concluded that she caused the abuse by
going to his room. The abuse thereafter continued and she
now felt she deserved for it to continue." (Landau, 1990)
 
This fictional example helps to further illustrate the
final 2 points which were presented above. The guilt hits
the child so hard that they are unable to clearly see
reality.
 
Another major source of guilt comes from the mother. Often
when the mother is told about the abuse she will not want
to believe the accusations and will blame the child. Other
reasons for why the mother may pass guilt: 1) she may feel
inequipped to challange the husbands domination in any area
of life therefore she shes passes the husbands faults and
looks at the child. 2) The mother doesn't want to lose her
husband. She does not want to give up the security provided
by her husband and will block out the abuse

 




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