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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Abuse & Assault » Need Helo to Help

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Author Topic: Need Helo to Help
candle girl
Neophyte
Member # 44796

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I'm not exactly sure what I am looking for here besides some new ideas. But first I think you need to understand some of my story, and I apologize if this is too long.

It started almost 3 years ago. For some reason, there were four particular guys that decided to make my life a living heck for a while. It started out as harassment. Progressed into sexual and physical harassment and abuse. And developed into rape. The rape occurred 6 different times that I recall over a period of about 6 months. I did not report it. I was too afraid it would lead to further harm. I should have, but I didnt. And one day they just stopped. No more attacks, comments, shoves, pinches, hits, phone calls, messages. Nothing.

I had been majorly stressed out so my period had been messing up for most of that year. Sometimes way too early, sometimes too late, and then not at all. So about 3 months after the whole thing had stopped, I went to the doctor. I didnt explain much, just that my periods had been very irregular for a while and then had stopped coming at all and asked if she could help me. As it turned out, i was almost 4 months pregnant. I was shocked, confused, and lost.

It ended up that my baby girl is the most precious thing in the world to me. I believe that she saved my sanity. I went to counselling for my PTSD, joined a support group for rape survivors, and am doing very well these days. I'm now in a healthy relationship with a very good guy, have a stable job and place to live, and my daughter is doing wonderful.

But what I'm looking for here is a way to help other survivors. I volunteer at a battered women shelter in my town quite often, at the suggestion of my counsellor. But I would like to do more. I'm considering volunteering at the crisis pregnancy center in my town also. Any suggestions for ways to help others that have had problems such as mine would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading my story and for any advice submitted.

Posts: 2 | From: U.S. | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You're something else, candle girl. [Smile] Here's hoping you know that already.

Personally, I'm not a fan of crisis pregnancy centers because the majority purposefully mislead women, giving them knowingly unfactual information about all their choices with a pregnancy, in order to further their own personal or religious agenda. For you, remaining pregnant, birthing and parenting was your best choice, and while it can be for others too, for other women, adoption or abortion would be their best choice. We can't really support people if we're lying to them (not suggesting you would, but many CPCs would require that of you should you work for them) or trying to talk them into choices they don't want to make and don't feel are in their best interest. Your own outcome with your pregnancy may have been a lot less positive if you had been tricked or manipulated into it, rather than making your own, fully informed, choice.

One suggestion I can make to you is that you take a look at RAINN: http://www.rainn.org

They now offer an online hotline for rape and incest survivors, and you could train in and volunteer there. You might also check and see if there is a phone rape crisis hotline in your area.

We also often have users here who can use some extra support, and that's something you can just do as it comes up if you like. [Smile]

[ 12-19-2009, 11:44 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
candle girl
Neophyte
Member # 44796

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Thank you Heather, I appreciate the input. And I understand your concern with the CPCs. I think that may be the reason I havent committed to anything there. And I'll definately look into RAINN and any crisis hotlines in my area.

Something else that Ive considered doing is speaking out about this. Where I have my daughter in child care when I am in class there are many different meetings on various subjects for the parents there. The day care is connected to my school so there are many young parents as I am. The head of this day care has asked me to speak at a meeting before about the effects of my support group, counselling, and what all has helped me along the way. I couldnt do it then, I wasnt ready. But my counsellor and I have recently discussed it and I'm considerring it.


My story had a happy ending, and I know that others are not always so lucky. I appreciate you advising ways for me to reach out and help other survivors. I love this site and I'm glad it is available for everyone out there. Again, I cant thank you enough.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Since you brought up speaking out, I should also make sure you know about a great organization my friends Kelly and Becca run, here: http://www.uniteforchange.com/ They're often looking for interns, so if you want to drop them a line and let them know I sent you, that may be another avenue to explore.

As a fellow survivor who has done a lot of speaking out publicly herself, I think there is a lot of power in that. It's often hard to do, and sometimes you will face backlash, but I think when and if that's something you feel you can do and can handle, it can make a huge difference, even if you're only speaking to a few people. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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