Skip to main content

healing

What's rape got to do with it?

Why does a sex-positive sexuality site like this one talk about rape and abuse so often?

We should all know by now that rape and sex are not the same thing, after all. And yet, over the years at Scarleteen, we've answered a lot of questions about rape and abuse, supported a lot of abuse and rape victims and survivors, and we've got content about both housed on a site which is primarily about sexuality, sexual health and relationships.

One big reason is that an awful lot of us in the world -- and at this site -- are rape and abuse survivors, or people trying to get free of abuse. While our rapes or assaults certainly are or were not sex for us, they often impact our sexuality and our sex lives a whole lot. Sexuality doesn't exist in a vacuum: it's made up of all of who we are, and greatly influenced by the whole of our life experiences. In so many ways, rape and sexual assault can really hijack our sexuality, due to body memories -- the places we were assaulted tend to trigger painful

Read more...

10 Questions with Jennifer Baumgardner

Jennifer talks with us about her new project about rape, which we're participating in at Scarleteen, what the project can do to increase awareness about rape and survivors, where she thinks we're at culturally with rape issues, and what young people can do to help transform rape culture and their own lives.

Is it my fault?

It's common for teens to have a mentality of "that won't happen to me". Well, what if it does? How does one cope when their trust and belief system is shattered by sexual assault?

Was my friend implying I brought my rape on myself?

Jessica asks:

I have been raped on several occasion throughout my youth. I am just now, as a 22-year-old woman dealing with these. My friend recently said to me, "Well since it happened to you once, then you are more susceptible to it happening again." It really offended me to hear this, and I wanted to know if it seems unfair to me to get upset. My whole thought process is, I already blame myself (and I know I shouldn't but what girl doesn't) why would you say something like that implying that I brought this on myself? Is that insensitive of me to feel that way?

I was raped a few years ago: how do I tell others and build trust again?

Leslie asks:

Hi, when I was about 16 (I am 21 now), I was sexually assaulted by two extended family members. Over the years it has caused me to loose trust for many males especially the ones I met after the incident and males of my race. The only people I seem to fully trust are my four brothers and parents. I have not told them about he incident and I am scared to do so because I don't know how I will or what their reaction might be. I am also facing a problem with dating. I am a little scared to date as I don't know how my partner my react to this incident or if I will treated nicely. Recently, I have been approached by two male friends who have interest in me and I am a little scared to even date them. I have built a trust for them. What should I do?

I was molested on an airplane: was it my fault?

Amsinha asks:

When flying on a plane back to New York I ended up sitting next to a man who had the wrong idea about me. He started out by complimenting me but the moment I lay down to sleep he started kissing me and feeling my breasts and ass sexually without my consent. This happened the day after I turned 18 and he made two very obvious attempts to engage me in something I wasn't into and didn't want. When I returned to my seat after a while the guy noticed that I was pissed and began talking to me about his reasons, one of which was that he asked for consent and that I gave it to him. I don't remember his asking or my consent partly because I was in a state of half asleep and listening to my ipod on maximum volume. The two of us had four seats to ourselves which I used to push him away from me after the fact, however throughout the rest of the flight and the last few days I have had a nagging feeling in the back of my head that I somehow told him it was okay even though it felt completely wrong and one sided.

I'm a sexual abuse survivor: how do I get okay being intimate again?

Anonymous asks:

I'm 15 years old and was sexually abused for two years in the past. How do I get over my intimacy issues?

The last boyfriend I had, anytime we were physically intimate, my chest would get really tight, I'd often start to shake, and I'd go into this blank zone where I'd just stare at the ceiling and my body would be completely unresponsive. It was really scary. Sometimes he would notice and ask me if I was alright, and I would just kind of nod numbly so I wouldn't disappoint him. Since that relationship, I've dated a little, but now it's gotten to the point where even kissing makes my stomach roil. I've had to stop seeing them so I wouldn't be put into a situation where they would try something physical. I cannot bear the thought of anything remotely sexual, and I feel like it's rapidly becoming an unstoppable downwards spiral.

I want to enjoy intimacy, not be terrified and repulsed by it. It's odd having my sisters gush over how good it feels when I just want to throw up. I feel really abnormal. I also feel like I'm never going to have a working relationship because what guy is going to want to be with a girl like me? It's frustrating, because I'm perfectly okay with all the other aspects of a relationship (of course I'd like to have someone to hang out with and cuddle with and all of that), but I'd just like it without the sex part.

What should I do? Is there any way I can fix this? I'm currently in therapy, but I still don't feel quite ready to open up and tell my therapist about my intimacy issues. It's easier this way. I hope you can help, I don't know what to do and I certainly don't want to get any worse!

My best friend raped me last year, and I'm just starting to deal with it.

Anonymous asks:

Last summer ('06) I was pressured to sex by my former best friend. I kinda blocked it out and it's come back with full force now. I had a flash back when having sex with my boyfriend about a week ago and that was horrible! Any idea how I can cope with that?
And how do I cope with the feelings of guilt and shame. I really feel like the whole thing was partially my fault.. What happened was that we hadn't seen each other for a year cos he'd moved and when I came to visit we made out. He wanted to go further and I didn't. When I refused to go down on him he spiked me drink and made me do it when I was drunk. Unprotected. (Had STI screening since then, which was all clear...) I just feel like I could've somehow done something. Like keep an eye on my drink or say no more forcefully or just plain fight him off. I don't really know how to deal with this... I hope you can help..

Also, I was talking to a male friend the other day and he thought that men should have an option to legally not be fathers in case of a pregnancy. Like not be obliged to pay for child care and not be a part of the kids life whatsoever. I thought that this was ridiculous, but couldn't come up with any sound reasons why I though so.. It was just a general feeling. If this discussion comes up again what can I say?

From Victim to Survivor

Sometimes we have no idea how things will affect us, no idea about the million ways in which one event can influence our lives. When I ran out of the driveway that day, across the street and to our house, I had no idea that the hard part was still to come. One volunteer's story of her history with sexual abuse, and her journey to healing.

Three Steps Forward, One Step Back: Hollie's Story

The next morning I got up early and we started talking again. It was too early for me to be awake and I was battling severe cramps, among other things, so I fell back asleep. This is where my so-called friend and ex boyfriend decided he was going to explore the female body: mine. Looking back at this, I can only feel anger: at him for being so "curious", and at myself for letting it happen. I have heard so many "It's not your fault's," that I am honestly ready to puke. It's ironic I guess. I can see how the victim is not at fault in other sexual assault/abuse situations, but I still refuse to see it in my own.

Please notify us of any inappropriate ads