“One night at a party I started kissing this guy I sort of knew from school. We were both drinking, and when I tried to stop him he wouldn’t let me go…before I knew it I was having unprotected sex with a guy I hardly knew. When it was over I panicked. . . I didn’t know who to talk to because I figured everyone would say it was my fault for drinking and that I must have been leading him on.”Anonymous
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It is wonderful that critical messaging and resources are put out front for survivors, and anyone who wants to educate themselves. If nothing else, please know if you are sexually assaulted you need to tell someone and get the support and resources you need – IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT.
The reality is almost everyone knows someone who has been sexually abused. Studies show that one in three girls and one in six guys experience some form of sexual abuse before they turn 18. Most never tell anyone what happened.
Sexual abuse is any time someone in a position of power—physical, emotional, or psychological—engages another person to do something sexual that is age inappropriate, uncomfortable, or against their will.
People who have been abused may feel confused or blame themselves for what happened. Some of the things we’ve heard from teens who call the hotline include:
- We were friends so it isn’t assault, right? It was my fault.
- Maybe I led them on. It was my fault.
- I was drinking. I can’t remember every detail. It was my fault.
- I was flirting. It was my fault.
- I went back to their room after the party. I did not want to have sex but my actions confused them. It was my fault.
IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT. There is no shame in coming forward. The more we talk about it, the faster we will break the cycle of abuse.
Call The Retreat’s 24-Hour Hotline (631)329-2200 or use the chat button that is on found on every page of our website for help and resources.