John P. Harris, LCSW
Old Town Neighborhood, Chicago.
One in seven boys (one in four girls) is molested by the time he reaches adulthood. While boys are impacted in many of the same ways as girls, there are some unique reactions (see articles).
The social problem of child sexual abuse has received much attention in recent years, due in part to scandals in pre-schools, religious settings, etc. Children are now taught in school to differentiate between good and bad touches and advised to tell someone if they are abused. However, many adult survivors were molested before sexual abuse was afforded the serious attention it has received in recent years.
In my experience of over 20 years working with this population, the vast majority told no one, and have lived in shame and fear since the abuse began. For many, the ability to trust and to form and maintain healthy relationships have been severely compromised.
By understanding the long standing effects of the abuse and healing the wounds it caused, an individual will be able to lead a fulfilling life, with healthy relationships and a sense of belonging.