The effects of sexual abuse in childhood can permeate all areas of life in adulthood
Former BBC Radio 1 DJ Dave Lee Travis has been cleared of a number of indecent assault chargers, not long after Coronation Street actors William Roache and Michael Le Vell were also acquitted of child sex offences. On Friday Metro reported that in total 16 people have been questioned as part of the Operation Yewtree investigations, following the outbreak of the Jimmy Savile scandal in 2012. Rolf Harris and Max Clifford have also been charged, as well as former BBC driver David Smith, who killed himself before he went to trial. Five other celebrities are still on bail, including comedian Jim Davidson. The cases of Roache and Le Vell were not connected to Operation Yewtree.
Since the Savile scandal broke more and more people – both in relation to Operation Yewtree and more privately – have come forward to talk about sexual abuse they experienced as children, many of whom have been carrying their secret for decades. It can be a huge relief to finally talk about these experiences and have feelings validated, but also incredibly painful and frightening. Some people who come for therapy have been suffering from the effects of sexual abuse in childhood throughout their entire adult lives. The effects can infiltrate all areas of one’s life, from self-esteem and relationships to problems at work, with money, with direction and also general management of one’s life.
At The Grove we understand how far reaching the effects of sexual abuse in childhood can be. We understand the longevity of these effects, and know that people who have experienced abuse in any form can continue to suffer psychologically long after the actual abuse has ended. If you have experienced abuse as a child you may continue to experience strong feelings, mood swings, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, a sense of being out of control, sexual problems, and difficulties with every day living. Perhaps you haven’t linked these emotions and feelings with your past before, or perhaps you have but have been unsure of what to do next. In both cases, you may find a course of counselling useful in helping to process what happened in your childhood, understanding how the past is still affecting your present and starting to work to manage your feelings and impulses more effectively.
It may be that you experienced sexual abuse as a child and are thinking about pressing charges on your abuse. This can be especially difficult if the perpetrator is a family member, or someone who has or had a close relationship with your family. But it is also very difficult if your abuser is someone from your past whom you no longer know. Confronting your abuser is a huge thing to do, and it can be helpful to talk through your intentions with an impartial third party first. This is where counselling and therapy can help.
Your therapist at The Grove will hear you story and validate your experience. We will provide you with a safe, non-judgemental space in which you can come to terms with what happened and its continuing effects on you, and find support in helping you to deal with problems in other areas of your life. If you are looking to press charges, let’s talk first. At The Grove you can discuss whether or not to press charges with your counsellor, and consider the pros and cons of doing so before making a decision.
If you have been affected by the plethora of stories in the media over the past eighteen months around child sexual abuse, let’s talk. Contact The Grove now for a free initial consultation, and we will match you with a counsellor who will support you as you start to address the past.