Sexual abuse in childhood has serious and lasting psychological consequences. Long term psychological correlates of childhood sexual abuse include depression, suicidal tendencies, sexual dysfunction, self-mutilation, chronic anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociation, memory impairment and somatization.
Individuals sexually victimized during childhood are at great risk of being sexually revictimized as children, adolescents, or adults by different offenders.
Sexually victimized children continue to blame themselves and believe that they have brought the abuse on themselves and that they do not deserve to be loved unconditionally. Furthermore, certain kinds of sexual offenders may target victims whom they perceive as vulnerable.
There is also a reciprocal relationship between substance abuse and victimization such that criminal victimization leads to substance abuse, which in turn creates risk for further victimization.
The severity of childhood sexual abuse –the use of force and threats, and whether there is penetration- longer duration of the abuse, and closeness of the relationship between victim and offender are associated with higher risk of revictimization.