As unfathomable as it might be, cases of sexual abuse and sexual assault happen far more often than we might think.
Even though most people think of women as the sole victims of sexual abuse, men also fall victim to this type of abuse.
Forms of sexual abuse include:
- Sexual violence
- Non-consensual sexual activity
On the surface, sexual abuse might seem like it's all about sex, but in reality, the offender is usually trying to demonstrate or gain some power over their victim.
Sexual abuse of any kind is extremely traumatic and drastically affect and alter your life. If you are a victim of sexual abuse, you might be tempted to withdraw yourself and repress the incident entirely. Accepting the fact something so traumatic has occurred can be difficult, meaning it can be even harder to talk about.
Not opening up about the abuse can be dangerous, though, and can often result in:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Drug, alcohol, or sexual addiction
Though therapy is important, it can be difficult to open up to a stranger. Online therapy offers a more comfortable and convenient means of counseling where you can receive help from the comfort of your home.
Types of Sexual Assault
The terms sexual abuse and sexual assault apply to a number of different offenses and crimes. Crimes that are included under these terms are:
- Rape: Any sexual contact that occurs without the other person's consent is considered rape. It makes no difference whether you explicitly state, "no," or if you're unconscious - failure to consent immediately defines any sexual activity as forcible sexual intercourse. Forms of rape can include forced oral sex just as well as vaginal sex.
- Child molestation: Many children are unaware at the time of molestation that what is going on is wrong. Children often trust their abusers and don't think to say or do anything when being molested. Forms of child molestation include fondling or forced sexual favors.
- Assault: Sexual assault is similar to other forms of sexual abuse in that it is completely essential both parties are consenting. If any advances - grabbing, touching, fondling, or cupping – occurs without your permission, it is immediately considered sexual assault. This includes attempted rape.
Unfortunately, the law has a very loose definition of what is considered sexual abuse and what's not. Many times, victims are told they did not suffer sexual abuse, despite whatever feelings they might have. This is why it's important you talk to somebody and seek professional help; no one can dictate what or how you feel, and there's no shame in seeking professional support and guidance to help you cope with this traumatic event.
Finding an online therapist might be the first step you take towards recovery, as you can discuss things in the privacy and comfort of your home. This can prepare you to go in and speak to a counselor face-to-face.
Sexual Assault in Men and Women
Most often, women and girls are the primary victims of sexual abuse. This isn't to say that men don't suffer as well, though. While 90% of all rapes are committed against females, every one in 20 boys experience childhood sexual abuse or assault.
Men who are sexually abused can often take this experience as emasculating. They might feel embarrassed or ashamed or blame themselves for ever allowing it to happen. Most men who are sexually abused never speak out about, especially since they often fear the judgment of homosexuality.
Failure to open up about this event can segue into a series of other problems including addiction, self-harm, and depression.
Opening up about your sexual abuse can be embarrassing, and reliving the event can make you feel very anxious. Because of this, you might not feel completely comfortable going to see a professional counselor face-to-face.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective ways to recover from sexual abuse and many online therapists use CBT when treating sexual abuse. Unfortunately, therapy is expensive and can interfere with your busy schedule, plus, finding a therapist who you feel comfortable with can be hit-or-miss.
Because sexual assault and abuse can be such a difficult subject to talk about, you might feel more comfortable talking to an online therapist.
The benefits of using an online therapist are:
- Often Less Expensive Due to No Overhead Costs for the Online Therapist
- Much More Convenient (Days, Nights, at Home, Work, Traveling, or on Vacation)
- Highly Accessible (Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, SmartPhone)
- More Comfortable (Individuals, Couples, & Children)
- More Private
The Virtual Therapist Network is made up of a wide range of professional online therapists who are trained and experienced in sexual abuse recovery and can provide you the online therapy you need in the comfort and privacy of your own home.
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