Part III: Study looks at revictimization of child sexual abuse survivors

| Aug 6, 2020 | Firm News |

Frequent readers of our Salem Abuse Prevention Blog know that we have in the recent past written about a study titled “Child Sexual Abuse and Risk of Revictimization: Impact of Child Demographics, Sexual Abuse Characteristics, and Psychiatric Disorders.” The Australian study was published in the Sage journal of Child Maltreatment.

Identifying links

Researchers sought to identify “the links between child sex abuse and re-victimization later in life,” and why the links exist and to understand the factors that make a child survivor more likely and less likely to be revictimized as an adult.

They also examined the roles of personal factors in the data of the 2,759 boys and girls who were sexually abused between 1964 and 1995. The researchers wrote that these findings fell into three main categories:

  • Female survivors are more likely to be revictimized than male survivors, though male survivors are at greater risk of being both victims of non-sexual violent crime and victims of non-violent crime.
  • The age at which child sexual abuse occurred is significant in predicting revictimization. Survivors younger than 12 when abuse took place were more likely to later be victims of sexual crimes and violent crimes.
  • Child sex abuse victims who developed mental illness were more likely to be victimized.

More links to revictimization

The researchers added that survivors who developed anxiety or personality disorders were about twice as likely to be revictimized as those survivors who did not develop the conditions. Survivors who developed issues with substance abuse were also more likely to victims later in life of both violent and non-violent crimes.

Finally, the researchers noted that more study is needed of the links between child sexual abuse and revictimization to further advance efforts at abuse prevention and treatment.