Surviving Childhood Sexual Assault

The great majority of the work we do at SAMSSA is with adult survivors of childhood abuse. If this is your situation, or the situation of the person you are supporting, you are not alone.

The impacts of childhood sexual abuse are as varied and different as people are. Many men carry the secret of their abuse for years. Some never seek help, and others only look for support when they are in their 40s, 50s and older.

At SAMSSA we believe that adult survivors of child abuse have an absolute right to help and support. You deserve it – you have been through one of the worst experiences it is possible to have. Studies show that the effects of sustained childhood sexual abuse are greater and more damaging than military service in wartime (McNew & Abell, 1995).

As an adult survivor, you might have found that over the years, you have had difficulties trusting people due to the betrayal of your trust as a child. You might have had relationship problems or struggled to cope with your anger. Perhaps you have had low self-esteem since you were a child. Perhaps you have been afraid that you will do what was done to you to your own children.

Some adult survivors experience unbearable memories or flashbacks, nightmares, and other psychological, emotional and physical impacts. It is also usual for survivors to develop coping strategies that helped with surviving the abuse at the time, but that are not helpful in adulthood. These are some of the things which can be worked on and improved with support and counselling.

It has been our experience at SAMSSA that adult survivors can reclaim their lives even decades after the abuse. Call us on 02 6247 2525 to see how we can help