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June 22, 2021
You’ve noticed something off about your spouse or loved one. Sure, they’ve exhibited odd quirks in the past — we all do from time to time — but lately something has been … different.
All of us have struggled with when and how to confront a loved one about problematic behavior. We envision all sorts of explanations, such as secret drinking or similarly self-destructive behavior. But what if it’s something more?
For victims of childhood sexual abuse, there are often telltale signs of their heartbreaking experience. These are 10 of the most common signs, as derived from a 2011 article hosted by the American Counseling Association and a committee opinion piece from the same year appearing on the website of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Remember that none of these signs are “proof” that a loved one has endured childhood sexual abuse. Each person internalizes trauma differently. Some victims may display the classic signs of abuse, while others’ pain is much harder to detect. Some of these behaviors may have been with the victim since he or she was first abused.
If you fear that a loved one has endured the horror of childhood sexual abuse, please consult a trained professional before confronting them, to avoid making matters worse.
Three survivors of childhood sexual assault describe their abuse at the hands of one man, and their attempts to move past their harrowing experiences.
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