CDC: Majority of U.S. Adults Experienced Abuse and Dysfunction in Childhood

This article is very timely for me personally because I just found out that a friend of mine has died. She was young, beautiful, and suffered sexual abuse as a child. When she was a child, she tried to tell the mother of her friend about the abuse. All the mother did was to tell her children not to play with my friend any more.

My friend was a deep and pained soul. She suffered from bi-polar disorder, which is highly associated with child sexual abuse. The coroner has not yet determined her cause of death but I believe that, no matter what the findings, my friend died of the pain of her unhealed child sexual abuse. No one but a victim knows the true depth of pain and suffering (physical, psychological, and emotional) that a victim holds in every fiber of their being.

May you be in peace Angela.

“Almost 60% of American adults say they had difficult childhoods featuring abusive or troubled family members or parents who were absent due to separation or divorce, federal health officials report.

In fact, nearly 9% said that while growing up they underwent five or more “adverse childhood experiences” ranging from verbal, physical or sexual abuse to family dysfunction such as domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, or the absence of a parent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Adverse childhood experiences are common,” said study coauthor Valerie J. Edwards, team lead for the Adverse Childhood Experiences Team at CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “We need to do a lot more to protect children and help families,” she said.

About a quarter of the more than 26,000 adults surveyed reported experiencing verbal abuse as children, nearly 15% had been physical abused, and more than 12% — more than one in 10 — had been sexually abused as a child.

Since the data are self-reported, Edwards believes that the real extent of child abuse may be still greater. “There is a tendency to under-report rather than over-report,” she said.”

“While there were few racial or ethnic differences in reports of abuse, the report confirmed that women were more likely than men to have been sexually abused as children. In addition, people 55 and older were less likely to report being abused as a child compared to younger adults.

One theory why older people did not report as much childhood abuse is that since these takes a toll on health in adulthood, many of these older abuse victims may have died early, Edwards said. The CDC report, for example, notes that adverse childhood experiences are associated with a higher risk of depression, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, substance abuse and premature death. “So (childhood abuse) may be associated with years of life lost,” she said.”


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