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sexual abuse

I Was Raped: Wear Your Voice Out

You can get an I Was Raped t-shirt seen on CNN through Scarleteen. Break your silence -- or help someone else with theirs -- just by getting dressed, help increase awareness of rape and support Scarleteen, all at the same time. Now in extended sizes for women and men.

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.

Blinders Off: Getting a Good Look at Abuse and Assault

A basic lowdown on interpersonal abuse and assault: what all the terms mean, why strangers are the least of our worries, what a cycle of abuse looks like, how you can start seeing abuse for what it is, where it is, and how to protect yourself and others and make abuse stop.

He's my boyfriend, so how could it have been rape?

worried asks:

I was forced to have sex a few days ago and I'm worried I could have caught something. I have this itch that feels like it's on the walls of my vagina and I can't scratch it because, obviously, it's internal and I don't wanna make myself bleed. Does any infection have symptoms of an itch like that?

My boyfriend decided to take my virginity by force but can I call it rape? He is my boyfriend, but I didn't think I was ready for sex and he pushed it on me that night with a guilt trip. Please help.

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'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!

Was this rape?

Samy-baby asks:

So, I got my boyfriend really horny, and I told him we weren't going to have sex anymore today and that I didn't want to be fingered, but he put his hand down my pants anyways. I kept saying no because I didn't want it, but he's stronger than me and ended up fingering me anyways. Afterward, he said he was sorry, but this wasn't the first time, he always does it and he always says but you like it, like that's supposed to make it better. Is this rape or am I in a safe relationship? Because besides when it comes to sex, he's the best boyfriend I've ever had.

Did my doctor abuse me?

Anni asks:

I had to go to the doctor for a sports physical for school. While I was there my doctor made me take off my clothes and he looked at my breasts and vagina: was he allowed to do this?

Am I sexually compulsive because I was raped?

Angel asks:

When I was 11 I was raped, got pregnant, and had a miscarriage. Now I am 14 and I compulsively have sex with guys who are older, and it's like I can't stop myself. Does this compulsiveness have anything to do with what happened to me a few years ago? I have tried to go to a therapist but my parents say that its too expensive, and they just don't care. Is there anyway that I can help myself?

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.

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