If you or someone you know had been molested or assaulted when they were an adolescent, this can stay with you for a long time. Along with any physical issue that may have arisen from this assault and inappropriate conduct, you may find that the psychological and mental scars are longer-lasting. Let’s see how this violation of privacy can impact a person later in life. 

How child sexual abuse can cause psychological after-effects in adults

Many different kinds of child sexual abuse can cause long-lasting aftereffects that are detrimental to teens and adults alike. Even though a child can be assaulted by a stranger, it is oftentimes more common for the assailant to be someone they know – which makes this an even scarier crime. Instead of thinking everyone in your child’s life is safe and harmless, it may end up being the opposite. 

Child sexual abuse can take on different levels of intimacy and frequency – the abuse can be a single-time occurrence or it can be long-lasting for multiple years of the child’s life. However, just because it may be a one-time thing or a recurring horror, it doesn’t mean the psychological burden that occurs in adults afterward is any less severe.

The majority of child sexual abuse happens early on, with incest from relatives being one of the most common types of violations. The psychological and mental impact that abuse has on children, and adults later in life, is traumatic and varies depending on the person. Although it can be crippling and cause severe mental distress, it can also be “less debilitating” in other cases depending on the person. The aftermath of child sexual abuse can also be helped by meditation, therapy, and talking through the incident with adults at the time. 

Long-term effects of child sexual abuse

  • Depression – depression is one of the most common aftereffects of child sexual abuse, with this symptom being a long-term issue in survivors of assaults, abuse, and molestation. Survivors of child sexual abuse often have a difficult time figuring out why the abuse occurred, what they did to “deserve it”, and why it happened to them. These questions can cause depressive episodes that are long-lasting and harmful to an adult’s life. 
  • Guilt and shame – the second after effect of child sexual abuse is guilt and shame in the survivor. They may ask themselves questions as to why it happened to them and what they did wrong to make the adult force themselves on them as a child. When the sexual abuse is done by someone who the child thinks to be a loved one or someone they looked up to, it can cause feelings of shame in themselves instead of the abuser. 


Child sexual abuse has long-lasting aftereffects that are highly detrimental to an adult’s psychological and mental state. Since child sexual abuse is a horrific crime that can cause mental scars for years, people need to figure out ways of coping with this trauma to continue living a “normal” life. Those who suffer from child sexual abuse often have to find ways of coping with long-term depression and feelings of guilt surrounding their childhood.