sexual abuse

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?...

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'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....

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....

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.

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.

The Voices and Faces Project

The Voices and Faces Project is a non-profit national survivor network created to give voice and face to survivors of sexual violence, offering a sense of solidarity and possibility to those who have lived through abuse, while raising awareness of how this human rights and public health issue impacts victims, families and communities.