New study reveals hope for child abuse survivors

Sherilyn DeNucci
Supporting

Premature death is less likely among child abuse survivors who enter supportive relationships by middle age, Business Insider reports.

Researchers analyzed data from 6,078 adults, aged 47 on average, all of whom had experienced physical abuse to some degree. After 20 years, 17{4b67ba8b923a50fd3c2d318c36d85df0f722be16ef3877469216aec8196f2e86} of those adults had died.

However, adult survivors of severe physical abuse decreased their chances of death by 19{4b67ba8b923a50fd3c2d318c36d85df0f722be16ef3877469216aec8196f2e86} if they had a strong support system in adulthood. Moderate physical abuse survivors were 12{4b67ba8b923a50fd3c2d318c36d85df0f722be16ef3877469216aec8196f2e86} less likely to die early, and survivors of emotional abuse were 11{4b67ba8b923a50fd3c2d318c36d85df0f722be16ef3877469216aec8196f2e86} less likely.

The researchers were careful to note that there could be other factors affecting these outcomes. For example, some participants may have simply been more resilient.

All in all, researchers point out that there is help for abuse survivors. Some advice he gives for sufferers of child abuse are “to keep an eye on their own mental health…[and get] early treatment for signs of trauma, depression, substance use problems or suicidal thinking.”