There are times when something happens that make you scared, embarrassed, or unsure of how to respond. Even if you know that something occurred that shouldn’t have, it’s hard to know what to do.
When things happen to our bodies, or in our lives, it can be intimidating or embarrassing to talk about, especially if it involves a family member, someone much older, or someone who is the same gender. You may not want to admit it ever happened.
But it did.
And you didn’t do anything wrong–no matter what happened, no matter what you did, no matter what you said, or didn’t say. If something happened to you, or you felt forced or pressured to do something for someone else, you didn’t do anything wrong. We need to call it what it is: sexual abuse.
Sexual abuse is when someone makes you do something sexual that you don’t want to do. They may have manipulated, bribed, or forced you to do something, or they are someone who shouldn’t have a sexual relationship with you (an adult, a teacher, a family member, a faith leader, etc.). This could be kissing, touching each other’s bodies, sexting, sending nude selfies, or actual sex. Even a sexual conversation you didn’t want to have can be considered sexual abuse.
You don’t have to be silent; you don’t have to hide it. You can use your voice and talk about it, because you didn’t do anything wrong.
You are not alone.
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