CSA can have an impact on a child in various ways – physically, psychologically, socially and on their future sexual behaviour. The impact may be short term, or long term.
Pregnancy, sexually transmitted illnesses, injuries to the genital or anal areas, recurrent urinary infection, and pain while passing motion, psychosomatic illnesses.
Fear of people, nightmares, appetite and sleep disturbances, anxiety, clinging behaviour, regressive behaviours like thumb sucking, bedwetting or soiling.
Withdrawing from people, always trying to please people, becoming a “model child”, aggression and hostility, and drastic change in academic performance.
Wearing too many or too few clothes, age inappropriate sexual behaviour, vocabulary and knowledge, excessive masturbation and sexual anxieties.
The long-term impacts include:
- Inability to form intimate relationships with others
- Low self-esteem, guilt, shame
- Social withdrawal
- Sexually promiscuous behaviour
- Substance abuse
- Risk taking behaviour
- Deliberate self-harm