Childhood abuse

If you experienced abuse or trauma as a child, it might affect you now you are an adult. Some days you might manage to block out childhood memories of abuse to help you get through the day; other days you might find it more difficult to cope.

Childhood abuse can be sexual, physical or psychological. You might have been neglected emotionally, or physically left on your own when you were too young. You may have experienced sexual or physical assault, or witnessed domestic violence towards someone else living in the family home.

Many survivors of childhood abuse or trauma do not tell anyone about their experience even when they reach adulthood. It is common for survivors to feel guilty, isolated, alone or ashamed, even though they are not to blame for what happened.

Childhood abuse can have a significant impact on your physical and mental health and can lead to you experiencing:

If you are a survivor of childhood abuse you might have suicidal thoughts. If you feel suicidal, you can call the Samaritans at any time of the day or night, or the police. It can also be helpful to share your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust. A number of our therapists have undergone specialist training to help survivors of childhood abuse and can:

  • Listen to your story – talking about your experience might lift a great weight from you
  • Use creative or mindful techniques in therapy to help you cope with any flashbacks to the abuse, showing you ways to bring yourself back to the present moment
  • Help you differentiate your ‘child head’ and ‘adult head’, and teach you how to soothe, nurture and empower yourself
  • Move towards living the happier and more fulfilled life that you deserve.