Many survivors will develop issues with eating either as children during/after their experience of sexual abuse; and others might develop them during adulthood.
What has been universally recognised is that the role of an eating disorder is to regain an element of control within your life – but the outcome might be that the eating issue then becomes an issue in itself, with corresponding health complications.
Many of the women who access CIS’ters report that they have had, or still have, issues with anorexia, bulimia or over eating – sometimes a mixture of the three over a period of years. Whilst all are complex it takes the right services to be available at the right time, to be able to face the work of recovery. It is also important that such work is able to explore the links between the issue with eating and the history of being a victim of childhood sexual abuse.
Whilst it has been recognised that during childhood development of anorexia and bulimia might be linked to being a victim of CSA; professionals have yet to acknowledge (which we urge them to do) that over eating might also be an indicator of CSA within a specific child.
The first step is often to recognise the issue with eating; and then seek appropriate help.
Help can be found within the following support services: