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
Perpetrators Were Rarely Strangers
Most often, abusers were a relative, caregiver, or family friend. 6
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
A Lifelong Impact
Childhood sexual abuse is trauma that can have lifelong impact.9
Resilience and Strength
Despite these challenges, many survivors describe themselves as strong, resilient, warriors:10
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:
- 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.
- Select the ages that the sexual abuse took place. Please select as many age ranges as necessary to cover the time period (n=771)
- Did you have more than one abuser? (n=771)
- Did you experience other types of abuse in addition to sexual abuse? (Select all that apply) (n=771)
- Who were the perpetrators of your abuse? (Select all that apply) (n=771)
- When you told someone about your experiences, how did they react? (Select all that apply) (n=695)
- How did their reaction impact the way you felt about the abuse you endured? (n=695)
- Have you experienced any of the following? (Select all that apply) (n=771)
- If you could describe yourself in one word, what would that be? (n=655)