Healing from Sexual Abuse.

Sexual abuse is when someone we trust, or someone older, or a person who misuses the trust of their position harms us sexually. We call it sexual abuse because young people (under 16 in the UK) may not fully understand, or agree to these activities since they are still growing up emotionally and are unable to give informed consent, making sexual activity or grooming a criminal offence.

This means that if a person over 16 does these things with someone under 16, they are taking advantage of the younger person, because the younger person can’t legally give consent to it.

Sexual abuse can include things like touching, rubbing, or hurting someone in a sexual way, but also includes inappropriate talking or texting. Sometimes, the young or vulnerable person may not fully understand what’s happening, or may seem like they agree, but it’s usually because they’re scared of saying no, or don’t understand their feelings.

People who are experiencing sexual abuse.

Sometimes, sexual abuse can happen between adults, too, especially when one person has power or influence over the other. It can be a one-time thing or happen many times, for months or years. It can range from inappropriate communication, touching, or more serious things.

The person doing the abusing can be someone you know, like a family member, friend, or even a stranger. It’s important to know that even if you felt some pleasure during the abuse, it’s still wrong and its not your fault. It is an adults responsibility to keep children safe.

People who are going through sexual abuse right now are sometimes referred to as victims and those who went through it in the past are often referred to as survivors.

Here are some examples of sexual abuse:

  • A girl who was abused by her father until she was a teenager when she finally told someone, and her father went to jail.
  • A boy who was abused by his soccer coach and thought he was the only one until other boys came forward later.
  • A young girl whose step-brother did inappropriate things with her when she was little, which she realised was sexual abuse when she got older.
  • A boy who was regularly abused by his trusted uncle and aunt during visits, and he couldn’t explain why he didn’t want to go see them.
  • Two sisters who both suffered abuse from their grandfather but didn’t talk about it until many years later.

It’s important to know that sexual abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender. In the UK, about 10% of children go through sexual abuse at some point, with most victims being girls. In more than 90% of cases, the abuser is male.

Victims often say they feel very alone after abuse. They’re scared to talk about it because they worry bad things might happen to them or their families if they do. They’re also afraid that nobody will believe them or take them seriously when they do tell someone.

Victims often carry a heavy feeling of guilt. Sometimes, the person who hurt them makes them think it’s their fault, or victims might think it’s their own fault. children, especially, tend to blame themselves for things that aren’t their fault, and this happens a lot when there’s abuse. This guilt can get worse if a child’s body reacts in a certain way during the abuse, even though it’s a normal response and doesn’t mean they did anything wrong. Our bodies react naturally, even in bad situations.

Victims or survivors often feel really scared and confused because of what happened to them. These past bad experiences can make it hard for them to have long-lasting, loving relationships, and trusting others can be tough. Just remember, you’re not alone, and there are people who want to help you heal and take back control of your life.

Sometimes, survivors of sexual abuse might not remember everything that happened for a while. These memories can come back later, especially when they feel safe or when certain things trigger them, like starting a romantic relationship or becoming a parent.

Here are some things survivors might experience in later life:

Flashbacks and Nightmares: They might have sudden memories of what happened or have bad dreams about it.

Feeling Shame and Guilt: Survivors might blame themselves or feel really bad about needing help. This can lead to low self-esteem, depression, self-harm, or thoughts of suicide.

Intense Anger: They could be angry at the person who hurt them and want to confront them or stay far away. They might also feel angry at others who didn’t help.

Trouble with Relationships: Some survivors might avoid close relationships and not trust other people. Others might get into very intense relationships that are emotionally exhausting.

Worry About the Future: They might wonder if they can have normal relationships or if they might hurt someone else. Enjoying normal sexual activities might also be hard.

Feeling Alone and Different: Survivors can feel like they’re the only ones with this experience. They might think others can tell something’s wrong and treat them differently.

It’s important to know that everyone’s reaction is different. Some people can cope with severe abuse more easily, while others are deeply affected. There’s no right or wrong way to respond. And remember, it wasn’t your fault.

Take Care of Yourself:

Don’t blame yourself. No matter what happened, it’s never your fault. Adults should protect children from harm. Sometimes, survivors watch children the same age they were when it happened to remind themselves how big the difference is between adults and children.


Feeling bad doesn’t mean you should deny yourself pleasure or punish yourself. It’s a reason to care for yourself. Treat your body with respect and kindness. If you ever feel tempted to hurt yourself, like not eating or overeating, cutting, or thinking about ending your life, seek help right away.

Express Your Feelings:

If you’re angry or sad because of the abuse, that’s okay. It’s hard to know what to do with these feelings. You might not be able to talk to the person who hurt you, or they might not take responsibility. It helps to talk to someone who will listen and understand. Writing down your feelings in a letter, even if you don’t send it, can also help. Exercise, sports, or even shouting somewhere private can relieve anger. Allow yourself time to be sad and talk about it.

Find Support and Privacy:

Abuse can make you feel alone. Some people might not believe you or react too strongly. But abuse is sadly common, and you’re not alone. Many agencies offer support and can help you heal. You decide who you want to tell and how much to share. No one can force their opinions on you.

Don’t Lose Hope:

People are strong and can heal. You might feel damaged, but that doesn’t mean you won’t recover. With time and care, you can make sense of what happened and reduce the negative effects. You can still have healthy relationships and enjoy life. Talking to a therapist online can be less stressful, and your privacy is respected.

Remember, you’re not alone, and there’s help available for your healing journey.

If you believe that someone you know might be going through something bad, like being hurt in a sexual way, it’s important to take action and help them. Here’s what you can do:

Listen and Believe Them: If the person tells you about the abuse, listen carefully and believe what they’re saying. It’s essential to take their words seriously.

Offer Support: Let them know that you’re there for them and that you care. Support can make a big difference.

Don’t Judge: Avoid blaming or judging them. Instead, reassure them that it’s not their fault and that you’re there to help.

Encourage Them to Seek Help: Suggest that they talk to a trusted adult, like a parent, teacher, or counselor. They might also want to contact a helpline or organisation that specialises in helping abuse survivors.

Report It: If you believe the person is in immediate danger or if they’re a child, it’s crucial to report the abuse to the authorities. This is important for their safety.

Respect Their Choices: Ultimately, it’s their decision whether or not to report the abuse or seek help. Respect their choices and continue offering support.

Remember, your support and care can be a lifeline for someone who’s going through a tough time. Don’t hesitate to reach out and help them get the assistance they need.

If you’ve experienced something bad like sexual abuse in the past, it’s possible to heal and feel better. Here’s how:

Talk to Someone You Trust: Find someone you feel safe with, like a friend, family member, or counselor, and share your feelings and experiences. It’s important to let it out and not keep it a secret.

Seek Professional Help: Consider talking to a therapist or counselor who specialises in helping people who’ve been through similar experiences. They can provide you with guidance and support.

Take Care of Yourself: Focus on your physical and emotional well-being. Eat well, exercise, and get enough rest. Treat your body kindly.

Practice Self-Compassion: Be gentle with yourself and don’t blame yourself for what happened. You didn’t do anything wrong.

Learn Coping Skills: Therapists can teach you coping strategies to manage difficult feelings like anxiety, anger, or sadness.

Set Boundaries: It’s important to establish boundaries in your relationships and make sure you feel safe and comfortable.

Stay Connected: Surround yourself with supportive people who care about you.

Be Patient: Healing takes time, and it’s different for everyone. Don’t rush the process, and remember that it’s okay to seek help.

You’re not alone, and there are people and resources available to assist you in your healing journey. It might be tough at times, but with support and self-care, you can move towards a happier and healthier future.

Sexual abuse counseling is a kind of help for people who have been hurt in a sexual way by someone else. In these counseling sessions, you talk to a trained person who listens and supports you.

Here’s what happens in sexual abuse counseling:

Talking About Feelings: You share your thoughts and feelings about what happened to you. The counselor listens without judging.

Understanding and Healing: The counselor helps you understand what you went through and how it affects you. They give you tools to feel better and heal.

Safety and Privacy: Everything you say in counseling is private, which means it’s just between you and the counselor. They won’t tell anyone else unless you want them to.

Recovery: The goal of sexual abuse counseling is to help you recover from what happened, so you can live a happier and healthier life.

It’s a way to get support and guidance when you’ve been hurt, and it’s okay to seek help if you need it.

I’m Paul Parkin – A therapist and life coach. This is why you should work with me:

Paul Parkin Online CounsellorI’ve helped both children and adult who’ve been sexually abused, especially by family members. Trust can be broken, and it can be confusing.

I make sure people feel safe when they talk to me. You can get help online, which is private and easy from home or work.

Online therapy is very convenient. You can get help from your home or even your car if you need that kind of privacy.

What some of my recent clients have said about our work together.

When I was twelve, my older brother touched me every time our parents left us at home alone. He was sixteen at the time. Now we are both adults and we get along well, but I kept recalling that experience time and time again. I felt bad because I let him do it and I liked how it felt, but then I felt dirty and ashamed. I still fantasised about him making love to me even years later. I felt depressed and I wanted the feelings and the fantasy to go away.

I found Paul online, he came and rescued me just in time. His understanding and support put me at ease, and I was comfortable to tell him everything that happened, even he told me that I didn’t need to talk about the past in detail, unless I wanted to.

He explained that the pleasant feelings were natural and normal as our body is designed to respond in that way, and there is nothing I should be ashamed of.

With Paul’s help, now I can leave that part of my life in the past and feel ok with myself. I don’t feel dirty or ashamed anymore, and I also stopped fantasising about my brother, once and for all.

Now I am looking forward to a brighter future with no shame and depression in it. Thank you Paul’.

Adam. USA.
December 2023.

I’m a survivor of abuse who believed I had moved past the trauma until I began dating someone special. When we decided to become intimate, my past trauma resurfaced, leading to intense flashbacks and panic. I sought help and found Paul, a compassionate therapist who provided a safe space and equipped me with practical coping tools.

Through Paul’s guidance, I realised that healing takes time, and I needed to communicate openly with my partner about my past trauma before attempting intimacy.

This communication and the tools Paul taught me, transformed our relationship, allowing us to navigate this sensitive issue together and rebuild trust.

With Paul’s support, I worked through my fears and regained control over my life and emotions, embarking on a transformative journey of healing and growth.

I owe my new found strength and happiness to Paul’s expertise and unwavering compassion, and I’m forever grateful for his role in helping me reclaim my life.

Monic. UK.
August 2022.

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