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Sexual Abuse Counselling

Sexual abuse is an act of violence towards an innocent person that includes any sort of sexual act.  This could mean looking, sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, penetration, exposing of private parts, forced stimulation of sexual responses and oral sex. Any time any of these things are forced on an unwilling individual, the perpetrator is performing an act of sexual abuse. Victims of sexual abuse often feel that they are to blame. Sexual abuse is always the fault of the perpetrator and NEVER the fault of the victim.

Men, women and children can be the victims of sexual abuse. The number of victims in each age group is skewed due to the fact that many do not report their abuse to the authorities. There are different terms used to discriminate between the different types of abuse that has occurred. The different terms include: Child Sexual Abuse, Molestation, and Sexual Assault. A Sexual Abuse Counsellor can help the sufferer come to terms with their abuse and learn to cope with the skewed sense of reality left by these life events.

Symptoms of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is a traumatic event that requires support from others to learn to cope with.  Individuals who have suffered from sexual abuse often live with the coping strategies that they developed in order to survive the abuse. These strategies can affect them through their adult lives.  A supportive and objective counsellor can make the difference in the victim’s ability to move forward.

Sufferers of a past or current sexual abuse may feel emotional isolation, fear, depression, anxiety, betrayed, angry or guilty. They may blame themselves for what happened. Sexual Abuse survivors might struggle with sexual intimacy and have difficulty asserting their needs. Individual events such as Pap smear or childbirth could be triggers for reliving the traumatic event(s). They may have traumatic amnesia regarding the events surrounding their sexual abuse.

If you or someone you know was a victim of sexual abuse, it may be time to seek help.

Sexual Abuse Support Options

Seeking professional help of a counsellor or psychotherapist is always a good idea as they can provide a safe confidential environment to talk about the experienced trauma; however, there are other options that can aid in recovery.

Some people have family or friends that they can reach out to. The support that they gain from these family and friends can help in their recovery whether they choose to use counselling services or not.  Others will find support through their churches from a minister or faithful member. Additionally, there are support groups available which provide places for sexual abuse survivors to gather and talk about what happened to them and the strategies they have found help in their recovery. What is important is identifying the appropriate treatment option for each individual survivor.

How can Sexual Abuse Counselling Help me?

Counselling and Psychotherapy provides sufferers with a safe, confidential, judgement free zone where they can talk about what they have been through. The therapist will help to identify alternative strategies to help address the memories, impacts, and pain from the abuse.

In therapy, the counsellor will help to identify grounding and safety techniques that can be implemented when a trigger is encountered. These techniques will help to alleviate the feelings of danger more quickly. Another exercise done that will help the survivor regain control is to start making simple choices. As a team the counsellor and the sufferer will identify appropriate support networks to help cope with thoughts, feelings, and habits that stem from the abuse. Finally, and perhaps most important, counselling will help the individual to understand feelings as they pertain to the abuse.

If you or someone you know has suffered abuse and wants to get help, reaching out is a brave step that takes courage and determination, a psychotherapist or counsellor will not judge you or make comment on what happened, they will give you an objective understanding of you and be there for you, its a big step and we want you know that we understand this.