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The Betrayal in Childhood


Childhood Sexual Abuse does its damage to a Victim and the wound goes unseen and plunges deep.  It damages their self-esteem.  It often creates a situation where the victim starts to mutilate, maim, disfigure and harm themselves.

The Victims will often question themselves when making decisions, obsessively wondering if their choice it is the right one, or they may be incapable of making decisions on their own. They often lose their sense of self.  Continuously asking for approval, asking if what they did was okay, if someone liked the way they looked, the way they said what they said, and if the content of what they said was okay,  all in a desperate need for others acceptance and approval, they seem to live in a world where their own opinion of themselves becomes lost and they stop trusting their own opinions of even themselves. This is because all too often the victim of abuse has a very low sense of self-worth and self esteem, feeling lack of control over their life.

Children who suffer through different forms of sexual abuse can often become confused about issues of integrity. The Adults in their lives, the adults on whom they should be dependant upon, who they should be able to look up to and who they initially perceived as people to trust have come to betray them.  This disloyalty and betrayal leaves them with a sense of confusion. When it is a member of the opposite sex who commits the sexual abuse, it usually grows either into anger and a sense of mistrust for the opposite sex or a subconscious need for acceptance from members of the opposite sex.

Very often and making it all the worse, many abusers threaten the victim that they will hurt them or the victim’s families further if they tell anyone about the abuse.  This serves to make the victim feel that they should be both ashamed of what has happened and afraid, and results in their not telling anyone for an extended amount of time. Unfortunately, this also often results in the victim feeling as though no one will believe them or trust the story. The survivors, feeling so ashamed of the abusive behavior that they were forced to participate in and ashamed of their bodies, combined with any possible threats from the abuser, may end up forced into a silence about the abuse for many years.
The survivors of the Sexual Abuse Incident may blame themselves for trusting the individual that hurt them, for being stupid, for being in the "wrong place at the wrong time", for not fighting harder, and/or for not telling someone. All too often, they feel as if it is their fault, as though they have done something to deserve the abuse. They may even feel disgustingly used and as though their own bodies have betrayed them.  In fact, this is where the betrayal is complete.
A loss of immense control over their bodies and their lives, survivors most often carry a myriad of these bad feelings about themselves for years.. A Tremendous burden of guilt comes along with all the self-blame the victims of childhood sexual abuse may go through. It’s well possible that they may feel a need to push others away, or a need to grow-up quickly and escape childhood all as a defense to protect themselves. This may be why so many Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse become withdrawn.

Rika B.


NOTE/Disclaimer: Inclusion in our list of organizations, books, counselors, and other links and resources does not necessarily indicate a recommendation or endorsement. What is helpful for another survivor may not be right for you. As always, use your own judgment when contacting any of these organizations. Advice given at this website, or in conjunction with Joshua Childrens Foundation activities is not to be taken as a counseling or clinical relationship but only as suggestion based on the founders personal experience as a sex abuse victim resulting in bulimia eating disorder and the healing journey from that. Articles, links, or content contained on this website should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner, nor should it be inferred as such. Always check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about a specific condition. Joshua Childrens Foundation does not take any responsibility and is held harmless from any actions by anyone associated with the websites we link to.