Symptoms of Sexual Abuse/Assault

Sexual abuse or assault causes lifelong damage to the individual with symptoms that are varied and universally common. Victims feel a deep sense of sexual shame, depression, anxiety, worthlessness, guilt, and difficulties with careers and relationships.

If not dealt with, the trauma associated with sexual abuse/assault can result in PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), depression and anxiety that could last a lifetime.  Some of the possible symptoms of PTSD resulting from child abuse or sexual assault include:   

  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Withdrawal from and mistrust or fear of adults and authority figures
  • Hyper-sexuality and promiscuity
  • Avoidance of sex and physical touch
  • Problems with sleep or fear of going to bed
  • Nightmares and/or flashbacks
  • Self-harm
  • Addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling or food
  • Eating or sleeping disorders
  • Unusual sexual behavior
  • Change to a gay or lesbian lifestyle
  • Prostitution
  • Rage or anger issues
  • Depression
  • Sexually abusing other children (35% of child sexual abusers were abused themselves as children)
  • Phantom pain

These are the most common symptoms but there are many others.  These behaviors are not the problem; they are most likely a symptom of the abuse or assault that has never been properly dealt with.  SAVAnon can help.