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Some of the effects that this has on a person are feelings of shame, fear, anger, hurt, loss, low self esteem, difficulties with emotional intimacy, sexuality and trust. Those who have experienced sexual abuse can also suffer flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, fear of things associated with the abuse (including objects, smells, places, doctor’s visits, etc.), self-esteem issues, sexual dysfunction, chronic pain, addiction, self-injury, suicidal ideation, somatic complaints, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiet, among other problems.

It is estimated that between one in four people by the age of eighteen have experinced some form of sexual abuse. It knows no particular social class and it is experinced by both boys and girls, men and women alike.

Sexual abuse/trauma can be understood as any exploitation of a person for the sexual gratification and pleasure of another person. This can range from indecent exposure and voyeurism, obscene telephone calls, taking pornographic pictures, fondling, kissing, being shown sexually explicit material, intercourse or attempted intercourse, incest, rape or child prostitution.