Sexual violence in the modern world is still widespread and is used even against children. Such a traumatic experience inevitably leads to a negative impact on the psyche and the development of mental disorders. This situation is especially relevant for children who have been subjected to sexual violence since their mental health is in the process of formation, which worsens the adverse effect. Adams et al. (2018) note that “childhood physical and sexual abuse victims are at increased risk for developing depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adulthood” (p. 167). Radmanović (2020) underlines that the negative effects of sexual abuse on children include “posttraumatic symptoms, depression, helplessness, negative evaluation, aggressive behavior, and behavioral problems” (p. 349). However, as part of the study, it is important to consider what treatments and therapies are available for these children in today’s world. Therefore, the topic of the essay is treatment options for negative mental health effects for sexually abused children.
To answer the research question within the essay, the technique of collecting and analyzing data from secondary sources will be used. In particular, I would like to first look at the problem and prevalence of child sexual abuse, then the negative impact on their mental health and treatment options. For research, I will use the article by Hailes et al. (2019), who review methods for preventing the development of mental disorders immediately after an episode of violence in children. Additionally, the book by Jones and Ramchandani (2018) is an excellent resource as it provides background information on the problem and looks at treatments and prevention. Finally, I will use bu Ensink et al. (2020) as researchers consider the less common psychological consequences of sexual abuse, such as impaired sexual behavior and insecure attachment.
This topic is relevant in modern society, especially for children. First of all, children are often unable to talk about the problems they experienced during the episode of sexual abuse. I was inspired to explore this topic by the articles that I used in the first paragraph since I did not expect how negative the consequences of psychological violence on the psyche of the victim are. Concerning children, this problem is especially acute, as it entails mental changes that will affect their adult life. I wonder how professionals can prevent negative effects as early as possible by giving sexually abused children a chance for normal adult life.
Adams, J., Mrug, S., & Knight, D.C. (2018). Characteristics of child physical and sexual abuse as predictors of psychopathology. Child Abuse & Neglect, 86, 167-177.
Ensink, K., Borelli, J. L., Normandin, L., target, M., & Fonagy, P. (2020). Childhood sexual abuse and attachment insecurity: Associations with child psychological difficulties. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 90(1), 115-124.
Hailes, H., Yu, R., Danese, A., & Fazer, S. (2019). Long-term outcomes of childhood sexual abuse: An umbrella review. The Lancet Psychiatry, 6(10), 830-839.
Jones, D., & Ramchandani, P. (2018). Child sexual abuse: Informing practice from research. CRC Press.
Radmanović, M. B. (2020). Mental disorders in sexually abused children. Psychiatria Danubina, 32(3), 349-352.