Anonymous asked in Social SciencePsychology · 2 months ago

What does sex abuse do that causes permanent scars in victims?

My high school, The Gow School, is in the news for sex abuse allegations from the 1990's. I knew some of the staff and two of the victims. One of them is still hurt, PTSD, anxious, and angry by it all. It is a fresh wound. I would think if I have been abused I would have said it was disgusting and after leaving the school moved on and just said "they wee gross" and that is it. Why does it linger with people for life?


Sorry for the ignorance, I want to understand so I can be understanding and compassionate to victims and not act like "well let it go". 

2 Answers

  • Lili
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Shame, a feeling of guilt as though you might have caused the abuse, a feeling that you were part of something sordid and secret and dirty -- something that dirtied YOU -- confusion or puzzlement as to why you were singled out and victimized -- what was wrong with you that you were considered a good victim? -- an inability to trust people, especially authority figures, lifelong anger and resentment because of a stolen childhood or adolescence (being forced to deal with adult behaviors too soon) and flashbacks to something you found repulsive and repugnant but didn't know how to stop -- 

    The list goes on and on.  You have to understand that children and adolescents can't rationalize and reason through things the way adults can, and even adults can suffer lifelong trauma as a result of rape, sexual assault.  Young people are being abused at a very impressionable and formative time, when their brains are still in development.  Without serious therapeutic support, they may never be able to recover fully.

    Some kids are more resilient than others and manage to move forward more successfully.  But tougher, stronger kids are also more likely to report abuse, whereas abusers are most likely to choose as victims kids they've identified as more vulnerable and easier to cow. Those kids are likely to be less resilient and to suffer more lifelong trauma.

    I'm fairly familiar with this topic because I have a relative who is a mental health professional. She actually wrote her thesis on resilience in sexually-abused children.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    No, you wouldn't. It's not something you "decide" based on "logic." I don't know why it lingers, I just know that it does. It happened to me when I was 5 and it still effects me 40+ years later.

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