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From Victim to Victor: Overcoming Childhood Sexual Abuse

Part One: Symptoms

[Part Two Physical and Emotional Ailments] [Part Three Forgiveness] [Part Four Google's Fight]

Characteristics of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA)

Sexual abuse creates fear, shame and guilt in the victimised child.

Physical damage may heal but the emotional and psychological scars remain for a long time.

Perhaps the most severe damage is caused by betrayal.

Betrayal by an adult, especially when that adult is supposed to be protecting and caring for you, is devastating.

The Fear has several components: anticipation of pain, anticipation of disapproval by the perpetrator and worry about threats to other family members.

Shame seems to be built into most of us, especially when the abuse is incestuous. There’s also the possibility that the victim absorbs the abuser’s shame and guilt.

Guilt is often felt by a survivor because she or he has become sexually aroused during the abuse. Guilt is also frequently felt when the survivor does -- or doesn’t -- report the abuse. Many survivors feel guilty because “they went back for more”, or didn’t say “No.”

The helplessness and powerlessness of a child assaulted by an adult is real, terrifying and breeds lasting consequences.

For both abused girls and boys

Dissociation -- the separation of mind from body -- enables a child to survive the horror by imagining that the abuse is happening to someone else.

Symptoms in Adult Survivors

Among the effects of CSA are the following. Sometimes these symptoms do not appear for decades.


These may be direct images, almost recollections, of the abuse or they may be symbolic. While non-abused people also suffer occasional nightmares, survivors experience repetitious, terrifying dreams in which they feel helpless and suffocatingly trapped.


Sickening sensory images suddenly occur which vividly bring back the sights, sounds, physical and emotional feelings of the abuse.


With good cause, survivors are usually distrustful of the opposite sex, authority figures -- and themselves.

Sexual hangups

Inhibitions and fears about sexual activity range from mild to severely disturbed.

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Closely connected to the fallibility of memory is denial.
We deny we've been abused.
Family members deny it.
Society in general prefers to deny it.
And for some people this is how they survive and go on with their lives.

For others, cracking the nut of denial is the major step forward in their healing.


Should the perpetrator be confronted? There is no simple yes or no answer to this question. Confrontation can range from letter writing to in-person, to court proceedings. It can be a plain "I know what you did" or an expensive lawsuit. The more "outsiders" are involved, the more you need corroborative evidence to back up your accusations.


The Key

Identity is The Key: whether you identify as a victim, a survivor, a victor or ...?

Responsibility for self

To overcome the effects of CSA requires a decision to take responsibility for oneself.

And then to take appropriate actions about taking care of yourself. Some of the specifics towards that are:


"True healing of the heart and mind"

"Before I saw Dr. Knight, I had many unresolved issues. I had tried counselling and psychotherapy since suffering sexual abuse and toxic family environment but nothing seemed to get me the closure I needed.

Hypnosis is the best investment I have ever made in my life. It allowed me to truly let go of my past. After completion of my treatment with Dr. Knight, I felt an immense relief and peace of mind that I had not felt since I was a young child.

I have found Dr. Knight to be highly skilled and passionate about his work. After only one session of hypnosis with him, I already felt better. It took only three sessions to resolve years of issues.

Hypnosis allowed me to regain my self-confidence and to let go of the sexual abuse I had suffered in the past.

I highly recommend Dr. Knight. He is Montreal's best kept secret! Many therapists can get the patient to speak of the problems and then they do not know what to do afterward when all is out in the open. Not Dr. Knight. He offers guidance and support in every step of the way, until true healing of the heart and mind occurs.

Thank you Dr. Knight I will never forget what you did for me!"

Jessica Dupre ================================


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A lot of thought was put into this, very thorough, informative and understandable. I was made to feel less alone with my useless sense-of-self...THANKS!!


Wow i finally understand why i'm messed up, i started to think i was going mad but i know its because of what i have been through and everything you wrote related to my life and realtionships in some way its like you were living in my head some understands at last thank you

Mustardised Fields

This is some of the best advice I have come across. It was oddly my mother who behaved in a way that 30 years later is still too much to verbalise and it helps a lot to have very well thought out advice from those who truly understand, because they've been there and don't need words to understand. Thank you for quality thinking on a horrid issue.

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