Welcome to the ULC Minister's Network

Minister Beverly Williams

Does childhood sexual abuse affect adult relationships?

  • Like any traumatic experience, if we don’t move through the experience or hurtful emotions, it will affect all of our relationships. Since sexuality is a very healthy and normal part of life, someone who has been sexually abused can also have a disruption in their sexuality. Sexual abuse can cause someone to disregard their own humanity and perform sexual acts in a much more promiscuous way than they would otherwise. Or it can cause someone to dissociate during sexuality, which means they really don’t have the chance to enjoy their sexual experience. And for some people, there can be flashbacks when they attempt to be sexual, and therefore cannot really have a successful sexual relationship.

    Some people may have lots of flashbacks (mental visual or verbal videos that take people back to the past, bringing the hurt into the present). Flashbacks involving the abuse can disrupt all parts of adult life, including one’s work. Triggers for flashbacks could be as simple as a phrase spoken, a body movement, a smell, or a look from someone.

    Don't be affraid to let people know what has happend to you. It may be very hard to do but it will save you a lot of pain latter....