Sexual, Physical, and Psychological Abuse
Sexual and physical abuse during childhood or adulthood can have significant impact on people’s views of themselves, the world and the future. Without an early sense of security, people are often left feeling distrustful, inferior, and alone. In addition, there is often a secrecy about abuse in childhood, and this leaves adult victims of abuse feeling stigmatized and different from others. Often, children blame themselves for abuse, and carry a view of themselves as “bad,” “worthless” or “undeserving” into adulthood. This can negatively impact how people act in relationships, sometimes replaying the same patterns in adult relationships that they experienced in childhood. Adults who were abused may have more of a tendency toward self-destructive actions, such as substance abuse, unhealthy relationships, and sabotaging any successes that they may be capable of. Depression is a common outcome of childhood abuse.