flower amongst thorns|Girl in Field|Girl Sitting
5 Jun 2013

Have You Been the Victim of Sexual Abuse?


I ask it with trepidation: Have you been the victim of sexual abuse?  My guess is the question itself is enough to turn your stomach.

According to Dr. Frank Putnam, professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the cortisol levels (of some participants in a study he worked on) “wound up looking like (those of) Vietnam vets.”  Cortisol is a steroid hormone released in response to stress.  “That tells us they are in a chronic state of stress, and never feel safe.”

Victims of sexual abuse:

  • Are more likely to have behavioral problems
  • Have higher rates of obesity
  • And of depression
  • Struggle with sexual development
  • Experience challenges in cognitive development
  • Are more likely to engage in risky behavior
  • And to enter into abusive relationships later in life
  • Have more physical health problems
  • Have more mental health problems including difficulty regulating brain chemistry
  • Suffer – both from what they’ve endured and from the guilt they suffer in silence

Did you know that

1 in 3 girls are abused before their 18th birthday?!

As a coach, I routinely speak with women who’ve been violated.  I’ve been outraged to read of the dismissal of their suffering!  I’m pained by the shame that underlies their suffering!  And I’ve been moved to do something.

Join me in a conversation with Amy Barth as we take an open look at the issues at hand and welcome your questions.

You can read more about Amy and you’ll learn more about her on the call.  For now I want to let you know that she has 20 years of experience working with children and teens in crisis. She founded Teen Crisis Line, a peer counseling hotline in New York; started a play therapy program in a shelter for homeless mothers and children; and was Director of the Suicide Prevention Program at a New York City high school.  She’s also the author of four books including “101 Tips For Survivors of Sexual Abuse,” and “101 Tips For Recovering From Eating Disorders.”

If you’re a survivor then this call is definitely for you!

And even if not, there’s bound to be a young girl or woman in your life who’s been affected.  Sexual abuse is any sort of non-consensual sexual contact. It can happen to men or women of any age.  You do know a victim even if you don’t know it.



Here’s to our health.


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