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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » was this assault?

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Author Topic: was this assault?
Tate
Neophyte
Member # 101944

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what is assault? My very close friend hugged me and took it further than what I would consider to be a simple friendly hug. I know she has feelings for me that I don't return, and she knows this too. We've talked about it too so this is not an assumption. While she was hugging me she said she never wanted to let go. I said I didn't either, because when I was with my ex that was the fastest way for things to be over (that relationship was abusive and involved sexual violence and rape, I am in counseling for it still) but even though I said I didn't want her to let go I really really Really did. This happened awhile ago and we're still close friends but I can't stop thinking about whether or not she assaulted me, am I addicted to being assaulted now? and if she did, how am I ever going to not be if I can't make myself say no, and instead say yes, even when I don't mean it at all? I don't actually think she assaulted me, because I know she would have stopped had I asked her to, and she did when I was eventually able to move my hand to move her hand off me, and after that she's been even more careful about asking for consent before hugging me but I am still not sure what to do about this.I think I'd like to talk to her about it but I'm not sure how. And part of that is I don't know how to tell somebody they violated me maybe? even if I told them yes? in which case it's my own fault if I get assaulted?
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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This page that talks about abuse and assault very broadly also gives standard definitions for certain kinds of assault: Blinders Off:Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault.

Someone giving you a hug, saying they never want to let go, and not letting go when you say you don't want them to is not something that would tend to be classified as assault. Especially given the part where, if I have this right, when they said that, what you said sent a clear message that you were okay with them hugging you: in other words, if you said, "I don't want you to let go, either," then if they didn't, really they were just following you saying it was okay not to.

I hear you saying that what you told her was very different than how you were actually feeling, but obviously another person can't read our minds: they can only follow the cues we actually give them.

I don't think it would make sense here to tell this person they violated you, because I don't see that they did. I see that you felt violated, but that's a bit different in a situation like this than BEING violated. That's not about assault being your own fault, it's about assault not being something that happened here in the first place. Get what I mean?

Do I have you right in hearing that you're asking for how you can develop more confidence and ability to tell people not to touch you in ways you don't want to be touched? If so, that's certainly something we can probably help you get started with -- though the counselor you're working with is likely the very best person to start with that on, or at least bring this up with -- but I want to make sure that is what you're asking here.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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