Sexual trauma violates the most personal and vulnerable places in the human heart and mind. This kind of abuse often leads to severe consequences that may haunt a person for her whole life. Special counseling is available for victims of sexual abuse.
Sexual trauma can happen as the result of a wide range of experiences, including the following:
- Child molestation
- Exposure to sexually explicit materials (pornography)
- Sexual harassment in the workplace or classroom
- Persistent abusive sexual banter
- Abusive or violent consensual sexual activity
- Violation of personal privacy
Any time an individual is used for the sexual gratification of another person without their mature, informed consent they may be considered a victim of sexual assault. Depending on the age of the victim they may have a well developed or poorly formed understanding of the abuse they experienced.
Symptoms of Sexual Trauma
Many victims of sexual trauma experience the following symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
- Panic attacks
- Emotional outbursts
- Emotional detachment from others
- An inability to experience healthy sexual activity
- Self-medication through substance abuse
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
Many victims of sexual abuse will become victimizers of others if they don’t experience deep and substantial healing in their hearts and minds.
Counseling for Sexual Trauma Victims that Works
Most victims of sexual trauma are embarrassed about their experiences and are reluctant to share their feelings and pain with others. Most carry these secrets deep inside and then use drugs or alcohol to cope. The truth is that victims of sexual abuse should be no more embarrassed to seek help than a victim of burglary would be.
Specially trained counselors can confidentially help these individuals to understand their emotions, to process their memories and anxiety triggers actively, and to find healing for their deepest wounds. With the proper help victims of sexual trauma can once again experience the joy and comfort of healthy, trusting, and committed sexuality. This kind of treatment is an excellent prevention against chemical dependency, addiction, compulsive behavior and other destructive patterns.