Counselors For Teen Sexual Trauma

Treatment for Sexual Trauma in TeensTreatment for Sexual Trauma in Teens

Unresolved sexual trauma from childhood can lead to sexual acting out during the teen and adult years.  In some cases, teen sexual offenders are also dealing with their own sexual trauma from childhood abuse. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a study suggesting approximately one in four girls and one in six boys have been sexually abused by the age of 18.  Most studies pertaining to sexually abuse are thought to be under reported.

The American Psychological Association (APA) outlines sexual abuse of minors as any of the following touching or non-touching behaviors:

sexual kissing
inappropriate touching or fondling of the child’s genitals, breasts, or buttocks

  • masturbation
  • oral-genital contact
  • sexual or digital penetration
  • pornography (forcing the child to view or using the child in pornographic acts)
  • child prostitution
  • exposure or “flashing” of body parts to the child
  • voyeurism of the child
  • pressure for sex

 STAR Guides Wilderness - Counselors For Teen Sexual Trauma

Contrary to belief, most sexual abuse occurs by those known to the child or teen. Only 10% of abusers are strangers. Typically the offender is someone known to the child-a family member, friend, neighbor, babysitter, coach or relative. One study found that 23% of incidents of sexual abuse are perpetrated by people under the age of 18. Often these teens have been abused themselves.

Teens who have been sexually abused may suffer negative consequences which can be long-term in nature. Participation in treatment can help these teens to combat the negative consequences, to move on, and to heal, Care and support of parents, teachers and friends is also important in helping young people to move through their pain and overcome what happened to them.

Sexual abuse is known to cause feelings of fear, guilt, anxiety, problems sleeping, eating disorders, depression, anger, self-esteem issues, somatic problems, sexual problems, relationship problems and chronic pain.

The trauma of sexual abuse in childhood and adolescence can also lead to troubling behavioral changes. Some of these may include sexual acting out behaviors (creating risk for disease and/or pregnancy), substance use or abuse, conduct issues, drop in grades, destructive or criminal acting out behaviors, self-harm, and suicidal ideation or attempts.

STAR Guides Wilderness - Counseling For Teen Sex Abuse

Parents should be proactive in seeking help for their teen who has been the victim of sexual abuse. Teens who have experienced sexual trauma should be treated by a professional therapist specialized in sexual abuse issues to minimize the potential long-term trauma issues that can often accompany sexual abuse.

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