Abuse 2 Essay, Research Paper
Impact of Abuse
The impact of sexual abuse reaches all levels of a childs
emotions. These emotions and the effects are listed below:
This is usually the initial reaction of the child. They will
usually question, “What is going on?” and ” Is this right or
wrong?”. For a young child these types of questions can be an
emense burden on their physcological development. Once the abuse
begins the victim experience a tremnedous conflict with their
emotions. They feel pleasant due to the attention they are
recieving from the parent, as well as the sensual pleasure. On
the other hand they experience pain, guilt, and anger for what is
The question, “Is this right or wrong?” posses the greatest
conflict within the childs mind. The abuse feels so wrong yet
the abuser insits it is okay, taking advantage of the childs
mistrust and naivety. Below are the thoughts of an abused victim
as she thinks back to her abuse and questions her father. It is
an example of this mistrust as well as the confusion which goes
through a childs mind.
Since I was a little ten-year-old child, I had to deceive and
hide from the world and my mother that my father took a sexual
interest in me. Remember how you taught me that art of deceit?
First you put me in a situation that had to be kept a secret then
you pledged me to secrecy…As a ten-year-old child, what was I
supposed to do? You are an intelligent man you figure out the
options available to a ten-year-old in that position.” (Rush,
The abused will feel tremendous guilt for a numerous reasons:
They feel they did nothing to stop the abuse therefore they are
responsible and it should continue. They felt uncomfortable but
the abuse was sometimes pleasureable. They somehow deserved
and/or caused the abuse. A victim will usually feel this way
when their self-esteem has diminshed and they have no more
answers for what is happenning.
A nine-year-old girl had a nightmare and went to her father’s
room for comfort but instead he sexually abused her. The girl
then concluded that she caused the abuse by going to his room.
The abuse thereafter continued and she now felt she deserved for
it to continue.” (Landau, 1990) This fictional example helps to
further illustrate the final2 points which were presented above.
The guilt hits the child sohard that they are unable to clearly
Another major source of guilt comes from the mother. Oftenwhen
the mother is told about the abuse she will not want tobelieve
the accusations and will blame the child. Other reasonsfor why
the mother may pass guilt: 1) she may feel inequipped tochallange
the husbands domination in any area of life thereforeshe shes
passes the husbands faults and looks at the child. 2) The mother
doesn’t want to lose her husband. She does not wantto give up
the security provided by her husband and will blockout the abuse.