Surviving CSA: Battling Struggles & Finding Strength

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.

771 survivors completed the Childhood Sexual Abuse and Trauma survey to make a difference in helping others understand the true impact of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and how to support survivors and protect children.

Warning: May contain triggers for survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Talk about CSA
CSA statistics

Perpetrators Were Rarely Strangers

Most often, abusers were a relative, caregiver, or family friend. 6

CSA perpetrators

When the survivors shared their story of abuse, although 40% felt supported, 1/3 were not believed. In fact, nearly 1/2 felt worse after telling someone about the abuse due to the individual’s reaction.7-8

Reactions to CSA

A Lifelong Impact

Childhood sexual abuse is trauma that can have lifelong impact.9

Reactions to CSA

Resilience and Strength

Despite these challenges, many survivors describe themselves as strong, resilient, warriors:10

Survivors describe themselves
It doesn’t have to continue to ruin so many lives

Read more from survivors: 7 Things Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Wish Others Knew

Gravity Network conducted the Childhood Abuse and Sexual Trauma (CAST) survey with the goal of better understanding the impact of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) so we can more effectively support survivors and prevent future abuse. 771 survivors completed the survey, which was fielded online in 2018. Additional results of the survey will be published on gravity-network.org over time.

Help support our community and further research:


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Select the ages that the sexual abuse took place. Please select as many age ranges as necessary to cover the time period (n=771)
  4. Did you have more than one abuser? (n=771)
  5. Did you experience other types of abuse in addition to sexual abuse? (Select all that apply) (n=771)
  6. Who were the perpetrators of your abuse? (Select all that apply) (n=771)
  7. When you told someone about your experiences, how did they react? (Select all that apply) (n=695)
  8. How did their reaction impact the way you felt about the abuse you endured? (n=695)
  9. Have you experienced any of the following? (Select all that apply) (n=771)
  10. If you could describe yourself in one word, what would that be? (n=655)

Thanks for being a part of the Gravity Network community. Please share your thoughts in the comments.