Newsbeat, Shattered Innocence, Bugs & Drugs, and The Dark Side

Newsbeat, Shattered Innocence, Bugs & Drugs, and The Dark Side

Newsbeat, Shattered Innocence, Bugs & Drugs, and The Dark Side 2560 1696 AEPC Health

No One Knows

Almost everyone has kept a secret at some point in their life. Some secrets have a short shelf-life, like not spilling the beans about a surprise birthday gift. However, other secrets, particularly those tied to feelings of shame or embarrassment, can be deeply buried, and may never see the light of day for years, if ever.

It’s Personal – Elizabeth’s Story
For 45 years, Elizabeth (“Liz”) and I shared everything – at least that’s what I thought. But one day, as we left a restaurant, she said, “I have something to tell you.” As we walked to a nearby park, I wondered what it could be: cancer, marital troubles, or job issues?

Liz said that there was something she had never shared with anyone – she was  sexually abused when she was 11 years old. Her parents befriended John, a 23-year-old semi-pro tennis player they met at a local men’s tournament. He became like family, staying with them during tournaments or training sessions with his coach

One night, John came into her bedroom and told her she was so special. As he kissed her forehead, John fondled her flannel pajama covered breasts. That was the beginning – he would come  to her room every night. Over time, the touching progressed to more invasive forms of sexual contact. John always cautioned her to keep their special evenings a secret because no one would understand his love for her.

Silence is Golden
The sexual abuse continued for over a year. It ended when John and Liz’s older sister eloped and moved to the west coast. When their marriage ended quickly, Liz wondered if her sister had uncovered John’s sexual interest in children. But her sister never talked about the reason the marriage failed. Nor did Liz tell her sister or anyone about John sexually abusing her.

It’s Not Unusual
Liz’s story of childhood sexual abuse is not unusual.  Around 91% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by  someone known and trusted by the child or child’s family members. The CDC reports that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 20 boys in the United States experience child sexual abuse.

Delayed disclosure of childhood sexual abuse is the norm. Most victims are only able to acknowledge and describe the abuse in adulthood, with some studies finding that  the average length of time before disclosure is around 20 years.

The impact of childhood sexual abuse stretches far beyond just remembering unpleasant experiences as an adult. Studies have shown that it can affect both physical and mental health throughout life. Physically, it may cause conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, eating disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Mentally, it can lead to PTSD, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and negative body image.

Be sure to check out Shattered Innocence for more about child sexual abuse.

Suzanne Daniels

  • Newsbeat: newest employer benefit, new antibiotic approved, and true cost of healthcare mergers.
  • Shattered Innocence: healing from childhood sexual abuse, role of childhood sexual abuse on sexual abuse in later life, and breaking the silence.
  • Bugs & Drugs: the a drug that may slow aging, impact of drug reps meetings with oncologists, new research on cause of post surgery infections.
  • The Dark Sides: including Reports of Sex Abuse at Iconic Boys Town Youth Home in Omaha Kept Secret From Public.

Enjoy the weekend!

Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
AEPC President
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]

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