Every single person we spoke to talked to us about the long-lasting consequences of being sexually abused as a child.
Survivors told us about the horror of being abused in childhood. Many have gone on to experience severe physical and mental health problems.
Several people spoke about huge difficulties being able to trust people and build healthy relationships. Some talked about chronic anxiety and depression, or feelings of deep shame and self-loathing. Other survivors had issues with anger and recklessness, whilst others became addicted to drugs or alcohol, or both. Many talked about having had suicidal thoughts.
Despite the terrible toll child sexual abuse has taken on the survivors we spoke to, what they all had in common was incredible bravery to speak up, and a deep commitment to helping prevent more children from being abused.
The survivors we talked to are at different stages on a journey to recovery, indeed many felt that they might never fully recover, but every single one of them wants to encourage the rest of us to be brave and do something if we’re worried that a child is being sexually abused. By taking action, we might provide the first step on the road to recovery for that child.