This page offers information for survivors of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse.
A list of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors working in England and Wales can be found by clicking here
Details of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) can be found by clicking here
The impact of childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence and rape
The long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence and rape can include many emotional, psychological and physical conditions. The experience of sexual assault or abuse at any age and whether male or female can have devastating effects on every aspect of a person’s being and life – on their mind, their body, their behaviour, thoughts and feelings.
The following list includes some of the effects now being recognised and acknowledged as the consequences of childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence or rape on many victims and survivors. The Survivors Trust wants to stress that it is not inevitable that all victims will suffer from all effects – the mix, severity and complexity is a unique experience for each individual.
Post Traumatic Stress symptoms
- Irritability and outbursts of anger
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Alcohol Misuse and dependence
- Sexual problems
- Confusion about sexuality
- Self-injury and self harming behaviour
- Transient psychotic episodes
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Dissociative Identity disorder
- Somatisation – Emotional distress experienced as physical pain
- Increased rates of physical conditions like heart disease and cancer
- Criminal behaviour (including for a small minority sexual offences)
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of confidence
- Sleep Problems
- Parenting Problems
- Relationship Problems
If you are a victim or survivor of sexual violence, rape or childhood sexual abuse, the thought that you may be affected in any of the above ways may be frightening and daunting. Member groups of The Survivors Trust have the professional expertise and empathic understanding necessary to help survivors meet the challenges and difficulties they are experiencing as a result of abuse or rape.
Remember you have a right to be safe and to choose what happens to you. The Survivors Trust is determined to ensure that all survivors have access to appropriate counselling, support and advice so that they can reclaim their lives and obtain the justice they deserve.
To find support, please follow this link to for details of TST support groups and services near you, or click here for information and contact details for Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs). Additionally, details of Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) based in the UK can be found here.