Approximately 1 in 6 men and 1 in 4 to 5 women will be sexually abused before the age of 18. 1,2 Too often, their stories are silenced – by shame, guilt, fear. In fact, 70% of childhood sexual abuse victims never tell anyone.3,4 For others, telling someone about the abuse they experienced caused more pain; their stories were not believed or perhaps they were blamed for an imagined role in the abuse.
“I was conditioned to feel that I needed to keep carrying the baggage silently. Made to feel that I somehow earned and deserved it.” – Shana Shippee
Unfortunately, for many of the estimated 42 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the U.S., the effects persist long after the abuse ends. As adults, victims of childhood sexual abuse are at greater risk of myriad chronic health conditions. including depression, substance abuse, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and irritable bowel syndrome/IBS ; more likely to attempt or complete suicides; and at increased risk for intimate partner violence.5,6 Childhood sexual abuse often starts a cycle of trauma that continues well into adulthood. The gravity of these after-effects must not be ignored.
Gravity Network believes in the healing power of stories. We believe adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse deserve a safe place to tell their stories where others listen with compassion and empathy. Storytelling creates an emotional bond between the tellers and the listeners; it creates a sense of community, of belonging. We believe that with validation and support of a community who truly listens to their stories, the survivors of childhood sexual trauma can begin to heal themselves, as well as others.
“Connecting with others through the painful story of my past has held incredible healing power for me.” – Shana Shippee
When met with openness and unconditional support, sharing a story of sexual abuse can be empowering, cathartic, and liberating for survivors. It can be a first step in breaking the cycle of distress.
Gravity Network, a 501c3 organization, provides a safe space for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse to share their stories, connect with others, and find support. The online community, Gravity-Network.org, cultivates content and conversation to offer validation, support, and information. The Childhood Abuse and Sexual Trauma (CAST) Survey is a first-of-its-kind research survey to quantify the physical, social, and emotional impacts of childhood sexual abuse in adult survivors. We want survivors to know they are not alone in what they experienced as children, as well as what they experience now as adults. Gravity-Network.org exists so that these individuals can share their story with a compassionate group of listeners, and ultimately, join the community of those who invite others to tell their stories.
Join Gravity Network
If you experienced sexual abuse as a child, you are not alone. Read stories from other survivors and blog posts contributed from our survivor advocates. Learn how your childhood experience may still impact your physical health, emotions, and relationships as an adult. Share your story, or participate in research that will help others understand the impact of your experiences
Friends, loved ones, family members of those affected by childhood sexual abuse, your help and support is critical! Join the #ImListening movement to share information via social media and to educate others about the prevalence and impact of childhood sexual abuse. #ImListening recognizes that too many stories of childhood sexual abuse have been silenced. The movement demonstrates unconditional support and creates a community of compassion for those who choose to tell their stories of abuse.
Give to Gravity Network
Donations to Gravity Network fund information, resources, and support for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. 95% of all donations are used to promote awareness of Gravity-Network.org, to enhance the features of that online community, and to advance public health research of the long-term impacts of childhood sexual abuse.
Gravity Network is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization. Our mission is provide a safe space for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse to share experiences, find support, and connect with others.
- Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). https://www.rainn.org/articles/adult-survivors-child-sexual-abuse. Accessed December 15, 2017.
- The Scope of Child Sexual Abuse Definition and Fact Sheet. Stop It Now! http://www.stopitnow.org/faq/the-scope-of-child-sexual-abuse-definition-and-fact-sheet. Accessed December 15, 2017.
- Finkelhor, D., “The Prevention of Childhood Sexual Abuse,” Future of Children, 2009, 19(2):169–94.
- Hall M, Hall J. The long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse: Counseling implications. American Counseling Association. https://www.counseling.org/docs/disaster-and-trauma_sexual-abuse/long-term-effects-of-childhood-sexual-abuse.pdf?sfvrsn=2. Published 2011. Accessed December 27, 2017.
- Gallo-Silver L, Anderson CM, Romo J. Best clinical practices for male adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse: “Do no harm.” Perm J. 2014; 18(3), 82-87.