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The struggle that no one sees: The lived experiences of children who were sexually abused.


Adam M. Aguirre,
Netanya W. Alfad,
Michelle Ann D. Aquino,
Nikka Kyla D. Branzuela,
Rena Joy L. Canada,
Jan Rodwill G. Canceran,
Caryl Gay A. Cenabre,
Jon Ivan Lenarc S. Dabon,
Susan S. Mantos,
Agnes Marie F. Austero

Related Institution

College of Nursing - Cebu Doctors' University

Publication Information

Publication Type
Thesis Degree
Publication Date
October 2015


This research study aimed to explore the lived experiences of children who are coping after being sexually abused, specifically, to answer "what is it like for children to cope after being sexually abused?" The informants included were female sexually abused children who are staying in My Bonita Home for Girls, Inc., and verbally acknowledge that they were sexually abused. The informants were interviewed for data gathering. This research is based on Husserl's' Descriptive Phenomenology and Colazzi's Methodology.

After thorough analysis and interpretation, five essential themes were emerged: (1) Keeping Secrets, (2) Looking up to Heaven, (3) Escaping Flashbacks, (4) The Heart Melts, and (5) Fueled to Shine. The first essential theme has 3 subthemes: That unwanted sorry feeling, Fear of wrong impressions, and Difficulty in trusting others. This theme discusses about the informants desire to remain silent or keep the information that they were sexually abused to themselves. The second essential theme has 2 subthemes: In God I trust and Finding comfort in God. This theme talks about the child maintaining a strong spiritual relationship to a higher supreme being which they address as God. The third essential theme has 2 subthemes: Diverting attention and Small talks. This theme refers to how the children avoid having flashbacks from the incident. The fourth essential theme has 2 subthemes: Accepting what can't be undone and anger fades, if not now, maybe soon. This theme talks about the idea of the children not taking ahold of the grudge for long despite the anger that children harbour toward the perpetrator and the incident. The fifth essential theme has 2 subthemes: Being positive and Setting goals. This theme refers to the optimism and motivation felt by the informants after the incident of sexual abuse.

This research has found out that coping in children who were sexually abused is a struggle that no one sees. It is a struggle to keep to themselves the incident, a struggle to look up to God, a struggle to escape flashbacks, a struggle of letting go of anger, and a struggle to be successful in life. The researchers recommend to the house parents to use therapeutic approach to allow children to express their feelings, the institution to invite a mental health professionals to assess and assist the sexually abused children in their recovery and the society to promote public awareness of existing institutions that caters to sexually abused children.


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LocationLocation CodeAvailable FormatAvailability
Cebu Doctors' University - Main Library U5 St89 2015 Fulltext Print Format

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