Child sex abuse has long term effects on victims - | WBTV Charlotte

Child sex abuse has long term effects on victims

(David Whisenant-WBTV) (David Whisenant-WBTV)
SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) -

There have been several disturbing cases recently where a child was the alleged victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a caregiver.  In Iredell County a man was charged with six counts of a sex crime with a child, and in Rowan County one man was charged, another convicted of similar crimes.

In Rowan County this week Anthony Doull was charged with sex crimes involving a girl who was 3 years old at the time of the alleged incidents. Earlier this week another man, Mathue Moro, was convicted and sentenced to between 10 and 17 years in prison for sex crimes involving a mentally disabled child.

In most cases like this, Prevent Child Abuse Rowan and the Terrie Hess House can help the alleged victims. 

The Executive Director says that there are long term consequences for victims of child sex abuse.

"There's things about the way the brain has developed that we can never, ever get back," said Beth McKeithan.  "We can intervene with therapy immediately, we can try to do everything we can to try to help that child." 

McKeithan says in some cases of chronic abuse, even there are cases that "even the most therapy" can't fix.

A 29-year-old Rowan County woman who was the victim of child sexual abuse at the age of 5, says that she lives with effects of that abuse every day.

“It was a family member that I stayed with very often, they were like my parents go to baby sitter," the woman said. "I was on his lap but his hands were in my shirt.  He always wanted me to go to his shop and he would kiss me like how a 5-year-old shouldn’t be kissed…I would wake up while I was staying there and he would be in the bed with me.”

The woman told WBTV that each day can be struggle not to let her past, and her assailant, have power over her.

“It won’t go away, but you learn to live with it," she added. “It’s a struggle to, you know, not wake up in the morning and just not have the energy to have that in your own control."

The woman now helps others who been victims.

"This is my choice to use this to better myself," she said.

In North Carolina every year there are 300,000 children who are sexually abused.

Prevent Child Abuse NC says there are two types of abuse, touching and non-touching. The touching type may seem obvious, non-touching includes things like pornography, the exposing of private parts, prostitution and child trafficking, and photographing children in a sexual way.

73% of victims don’t talk about for at least a year, 45% wait at least 5 years, according to Prevent Child Abuse NC.

If abuse is suspected, the first call should be to law enforcement, say the experts.

Prevent Child Abuse Rowan can be contacted at 704-639-1700.  The Terrie Hess House is located at 130 Woodson Street in Salisbury.

In addition, the Family Crisis Council is also a valuable resource and can be reached at 704-636-4718.

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