Which word is most frequently misused?

The extent of abuse of children can hardly be recorded statistically - also because of the frequent repression. The victim almost always suffers from psychological consequences. Therapy can help, even if it is painful.

The incident was over 50 years ago. But the elderly woman needs to talk about it: "I was around ten years old and sometimes visiting our neighbors. Once the two of us were sitting alone at a table when the man is with his fingers in my underpants and has fondled me. " The insecure girl said nothing to anyone at the time. Even today, the elderly would prefer to remain anonymous. After the incident, she could not remember the sexual assault for years, the woman reports. It wasn't until 13 years later on their wedding night that everything suddenly came back. "I cried a lot, but was married to a very understanding man with whom I could talk about anything." That was her therapy."I was 24 when the memory came"The repression of trauma is a well-known phenomenon in psychoanalysis: "To protect their soul, many children first split off the stressful memories of sexual abuse, they are shifted into the subconscious," explains trauma therapist Ilka Villier. It is like a tightly locked drawer that has often been locked for decades. Usually she jumps up again later. "I happened to see a film on television about the abuse of two boys and was very confused afterwards. Feelings came up from back then. I know that something has happened, but I can't call up any exact pictures," writes a man in an online forum. "I was 24 when the memory came, namely shortly after the death of the perpetrator, my grandfather," writes a woman in the forum. Pictures, smells, dates or places and situations that are similar to the abuse situation can restore the painful memories cause. "There are also body memories, the child has the same feeling again as in the traumatic situation, for example heart palpitations and pain," explains Villier, who works at "Zartbitter" in Cologne, a contact and information center against sexual abuse of girls and boys.Some even mistakenly believe that they have experienced abuseThe extent of abuse of children can hardly be recorded statistically, also because of the frequent repression. Some people even mistakenly believe that they have experienced abuse, as studies on so-called "false memories" show. According to scientific studies, the rate of abuse among girls is between ten and 15 percent and among boys between five and ten percent. Around 95 percent of the perpetrators come from family, friends and acquaintances. Father-daughter incest is probably the most common form. The victim almost always suffers from psychological consequences: some of the most common are depression, eating, sleeping and sexual disorders, phobias, inability to relate, addictions, psychosomatic illnesses, abnormal hygiene behavior, and aggression as well as increased risk of suicide. Abuse is therefore one of the most common causes of serious mental disorders. According to studies, around 70 percent of all female inmates of closed psychiatric hospitals were sexually abused as children. A therapy can help, even if it is painful: "Affected girls and boys are often flooded with old memories and experience the violence again," says Villier . The most important thing then is what a child experiences, which he believes and is protected and it can be made clear to him that the perpetrator is responsible for the abuse. In play therapy, the experiences of powerlessness can be dealt with holistically, for example in role play, painting and plastic design. Therapy is no guarantee that all consequences will be overcome, reports Villier: "Nevertheless, it is a positive experience for every victim it is taken seriously and understood and supported in its suffering. "