Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent. Most victims and perpetrators know each other. Immediate reactions to sexual abuse include shock, fear or disbelief. Long-term symptoms include anxiety, fear or post-traumatic stress disorder. While efforts to treat sex offenders remain unpromising, psychological interventions for survivors — especially group therapy — appears effective.

Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology 

What You Can Do

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  • Recovering emotionally from disaster

    Understanding the emotions and normal responses that follow a disaster or other traumatic event can help you cope with your feelings, thoughts and behaviors – and can help you on the path to recovery.

  • Understanding Child Sexual Abuse

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  • Child sexual abuse: What parents should know

    Information for parents and caretakers on the warning signs and treatment options for child sexual abuse.

Getting Help


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