Lately the hashtag #Metoo has been trending on the internet, the numbers of “metoo” incidents reflected the common occurrence of sexual abuse in our communities. Sexual abuse has numerous and varied psychological, behavioral, interpersonal and physical effects on the survivor.

Increased level of psychological distress, depression, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks and post traumatic effects can be seen in the survivors. Studies in Britain have shown that if the abuse has occurred in childhood, there are greater chances of having adult depression and a low self esteem, along with alcohol and drug dependence. History of abuse has been correlated with more frequent physical illness, number of hospitalizations, chronic pelvic pain, backaches, headaches and gastrointestinal disorders.

The chances of contacting HIV are greater, involvement in prostitution or with a greater number of sexual partners and higher rate of unintended and aborted pregnancies are health risks that a person may encounter. Social and moral support from the family and society is a must. Other than this, timely and effective intervention is a panacea for healing the person psychologically, for the injuries that are not visible, yet painful & miserable.

AISHA RASOOL,

Peshawar, October 30.