The connection between eating disorders and sexual abuse

Maggie Baumann, MFT, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, shares advice for parents on how child sex abuse and eating disorders are connected and how near half of kids with eating disorders were sexually abused
The Connection Between Eating Disorders and Sexual Abuse
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The connection between eating disorders and sexual abuse

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There is a connection between child sex abuse and eating disorders. The statistics range anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of people who have eating disorders have experienced child sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse can come in many different forms. There is rape. There is unwanted sexual intercourse. But there are some slighter versions of sexual abuse, such as, someone just brushing up against their body or someone saying a sexualized comment to them. Those are also a form of sexual abuse. It is important for parents to understand the whole variety of sexual abuse. Also, let the child that any unwanted touch is inappropriate. Even an unwanted sexualized comment to a child can have a long damaging effect on a child's emotional state. Many people with child sexual abuse using eating disorders as a coping mechanism, to protect them and to keep them from the painful memories from the sexual abuse. They use the eating disorder as a coping mechanism to survive in the world.

Maggie Baumann, MFT, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist, shares advice for parents on how child sex abuse and eating disorders are connected and how near half of kids with eating disorders were sexually abused

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Maggie Baumann, MFT, CEDS

Certified Eating Disorder Specialist

Maggie Baumann is a marriage and family therapist in Newport Beach, California, specializing in treating eating disorders, addictions and trauma. Maggie is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS) by the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals. As a woman in recovery from anorexia, she speaks on the topic of eating disorder prevention and treatment to a wide audience. She has been a featured guest on numerous national television shows on eating disorder awareness and quoted in newspapers across the country including the New York Times as well as in national magazines including Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine. Her area of expertise within the eating disorder field is on “pregorexia”, a term describing a pregnant woman who is also struggling with an eating disorder. This is a life-threatening condition affecting the lives of both mom and her unborn baby. 

On a personal front, Maggie has been married 28 years and has two healthy grown daughters, Christine, 25 and Whitney, 24. Being a mom has been the most rewarding experience Maggie has encountered. Maggie enjoys staying active with healthy exercise and loves to be outdoors. Living one mile from the beach allows Maggie the luxury of enjoying the peace of the ocean. Photography, reading and spending time with her two kitties (who are really grown up cats) are other passions she appreciates doing in her leisure time.   

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