Childhood sexual abuse: a de®nition and overview
The effects of childhood abuse are very broad ranging. They can also be extremely damaging and dif®cult to cope with. There is now an enormous amount of research evidence con®rming the fact that childhood sexual abuse can profoundly affect child development (Hooper 1990; Ussher and Dewberry 1995). The dif®culties can cover a wide range of areas, including:
· Physical well-being. · Intellectual (or cognitive) functioning. · Emotional health and stability. · Social behaviour and relationships.