Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

Symptoms of Childhood Molestation

These are some of the symptoms that people who have been through childhood molestation may experience:

  • Suicidal feelings, fear of intimacy, flashbacks, drug or alcohol abuse, inability to form lasting relationships, lack of self esteem and self confidence.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is also a common symptom – where adults may find themselves re-experiencing an event which happened in early childhood.
  • Although not all of these symptoms present themselves, most of them do.
  • Some of the survivors of child molestation become sex workers, and some have such a low interest in sex or intimacy that they struggle to maintain long-term relationships.
  • Victims of childhood molestation often have a sense that they don’t deserve love, and seek out situations in which they will be rejected. They often find themselves in abusive (physical, verbal) relationships or engage in self-destructive behaviour which leads to break-up of relationships. This is because (consciously or sub-consciously) they think that they deserved to be molested when they were younger, and that they are “bad” people.
  • Guilt. The human body has innate, “knee jerk” reactions to certain sensations, and survivors of molestation may feel incredible guilt about “liking” some of the things that were done to them. This guilt is often used against the victim by the molester who justifies their actions by saying “But you like it don’t you…”