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Abuse & Assault

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.

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.

Sexually harassed at work: what should I do?

Kayla asks:

There's this guy at work who keep hitting on me. At first it seemed like innocent flirting but it's gotten downright vulgar and creepy. He's 15 years older than me. I'd like to remain friends with him, if possible but he seems to think that when I turn 18 it will be okay that he says completely inappropriate things in the workplace. I'd rather not file a complaint but I will if I try everything you tell me and it doesn't stop. A friend also suggested that I drop his girlfriend a line through email letting her know what's going on. I think that would be kind of mean and may even make him violent. He's really pushy so it scares me a bit. I'd like to know how to convey to him to knock it off without hurting his feelings or getting anyone else involved.

Men & Abortion

An excellent resource for men looking for support or communion in dealing with a partner's abortion, as well as basic information on the abortion process and procedure.

I'm bleeding a lot after sex! What's wrong with me?

Elle asks:

I'm worried because I bleed after having sex. At first it was only a little bit, but now it's a lot!
I don't know what's wrong with me.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers: Harm, Not Help

Anonymous asks:

I heard about a really good organization that helps girls who are pregnant and don't want an abortion. It's called Birthright. I have seen one in my town, but I can't find it on your site. Do you have any information about Birthright or stuff about the way the baby is developing so that we can find out more about our options?

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)

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