Overarching Question: To what extent are survivors of sexual violence not the only victims of the silence surrounding the abuse committed by someone in a position of religious or social authority?
Summary: The consequences of childhood sexual abuse can last well into adulthood, manifesting as a wide range of conditions (mental health disorders, PTSD, drug and alcohol abuse, chronic pain, etc.). Such conditions can affect the victim’s life path as well as their marital or parental relationships—for example, giving rise to attachment difficulties, fear of intimacy or the inability to trust. Being the victim of childhood sexual abuse increases the risk of serious mental health issues later in life. Indeed, the psychological scars left by abuse are the most difficult to heal. Victimization can also have profound social, physical and financial effects.