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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.

Can I have a friend with me during an exam?

Taylor asks:

Why is it that when I went with my friend to Planned Parenthood, they wouldn't let me go in the room with her even though that's the whole reason she brought me? I wanted to go in to see how it's like so I can possibly make an appt. for myself. But I'm scared and I want someone in with me. Will they allow it if I say I want my boyfriend or friend in there with me?

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 pregnant: he's MIA, and my parents want me to abort. Help!

Elydia asks:

I found out that I was pregnant a couple of months ago and after I told my boyfriend, he broke up with me. I'm not really sure what to do especially because he won't even talk to me and his friends are starting to spread rumors that the baby isn't his. When I told my parents, they completely freaked and said that I had to have an abortion, but I don't want to. Basically, I'm not sure what to do. I don't know how to reach my now ex, but I do want him to be a part of our baby's life. What am I supposed to do if he doesn't want to?

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!

He's a great boyfriend... except when it comes to sex and my boundaries.

faithx4xus asks:

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and 9 months. From the very beginning, I made it extremely clear that I was not ready for sex and not going to be for a long time, if not until marriage. He said he respected it, and we agreed not to pressure one another until we were completely comfortable with decisions we had both made as a couple. About 8 months into our relationship, we discussed our sexual boundaries and agreed that we were comfortable with dry humping. Kissing and some fondling was all that we had experienced before. Everything with that was fine, and I began to give him hand jobs about 3 months later, but it was very rare. He had no issues with that either, except for the fact that he wanted to return a similar amount of pleasure to me, but I explained I wasn't ready for that, and he claimed it was fine. In the summer we went to the beach, and it was the first time I'd been around him in that little of clothing, so I was already nervous. He didn't say anything reassuring, but he was all over me the entire time. By the end of the day, I felt used and disrespected since he had tried to pull my bottoms down a little while standing behind me, but I was not expecting it. That turned into our first major fight, and I eventually broke up with him because of it. (continued below)

Will I get pregnant if I only take my birth control pills after sex?

Anonymous asks:

I often have unprotected sex with my ex-fiance. Stupid I know. But I am supposed to be on birth control pills. In June, after we split I stop taking them. Now in December we have had intercourse multiple time again. I have two questions. If I take a pill every time after our intercourse (which I've been doing), will I get pregnant? And will that mess up my body?

I might be pregnant, and everyone wants me to do something different.

Gabi asks:

I used to be on BC, but when I found out I was taking it wrong I had to stop. I'm supposed to start it again the Thursday after I get my period... that is if my period comes. This is why I'm here. My boyfriend and I had unprotected sex, and I asked my mom if my period could be late because I'm no longer on BC. She became suspicious and a few days later we talked. I'm 17, by the way. She told me if I am pregnant that I'd have to abort it because I don't have the money or time to support a newborn, not to mention I'm starting college in August. She told me if I want to keep it then I can't live in her house. If I want to keep it, I have to PROVE to her that I am old enough to deal with it. So my question is directed towards abortion. How is an abortion performed, and does it hurt? I'm starting to get a little worried now because my period is late... and I can not (emotionally) handle a Pregnancy Test. I just can't. I told my boyfriend, who is 20, the situation. He's Mexican, and I am white. He freaked out because they're Catholic, and don't believe in abortion and they're all family oriented. He kinda got mad and was like, "you're going to kill my f------ baby." My mom told me he doesn't have a say in this whole situation, so I guess I have another question... how can I help him cope with this? Or is this something he just has to cope with himself? Thanks for reading, hope you can help! (I'm sure you can!!! :])

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