Sexual assault is any kind of activity involving your body that you have not agreed to. If someone has touched you or done something to make you feel uncomfortable, its very important for you to understand that what has happened is not your fault. No matter who has abused you or what has happened, its important that you talk to someone and get some help.
Here at "Empowered for LIFE!", we know exactly how scary and confusing it can be when someone does something to us that is wrong. Sexual abuse is a terrible thing to go through no matter what age you are and its easy to feel sad and alone. You might even suffer from feelings of anger, guilt, shame or anxiety. You might have difficulties sleeping or experience nightmares, a loss of appetite or problems at school. All of these feelings are normal but you do need to get help so that you can feel happy again.
How do I get help?
The best place to start is by telling someone you trust what has happened to you. This could be a family member, a friend, a teacher, principal, a coach, your doctor or the minister at your church. If you're hurt or feeling very sad or very afraid, you can always call 911 and tell them how you are feeling and the attendant will make sure you get the help you need. If you want to talk to an understanding counsellor on the telephone, we suggest that you call the Kids Help Phone (in Canada) by dialing 1-800-668-6868 or you can talk to them online by visiting www.KidsHelpPhone.ca.
And remember, if you're not ready to talk to someone, that's okay too but we encourage you to write a letter or e-mail about what happened and giving it to someone you trust. We understand that it takes a lot of courage to talk to someone about your abuse but if you do this, it will be the first step to help you get over what happened and will begin the process of making the abuse stop. And trust me, the abuse needs to stop.
My abuser is a family member. What do I do?
It's very scary and traumatic when someone we love and trust hurts us. It is easy to feel very confused especially because we still love the family member even though we know they should be protecting us, instead of hurting us. All sexual abuse is wrong, even if the person abusing you is in your family. It's very important that you talk to someone you trust or call a counselor at the Kids Help Phone. They will only get involved if you want them to and they will listen to what you want to say. You only have to share what you want to and trust me, sharing with someone cares is a great way to start feeling better.
No matter what type of sexual abuse you have suffered, its important for you to understand that this was not your fault. You didn't ask for this, nor did you deserve what happened.
What else can I do to make me feel better?
Talking to someone is just part of the process of helping yourself feel better. In addition to talking to someone you trust, there are several activities that can help you feel better; you can:
- Take a walk. Being outside or around nature can help our mood and help us feel less stressed.
- Draw a picture. Art is a wonderful way to let our feelings out. You can try drawing how you are feeling and then how you would like to feel.
- Write in a journal or diary. Writing our feelings down can help our emotions feel better. It's a way of sharing the pain without talking and many kids and teens find this very helpful.
- Hug your pet. Talk to them. The really great things about animals is that they love us no matter what and they will always love you. Pets will give you a huge sense of strength and love. Try it today.
- Play your favorite sport or have fun with your favorite hobby. Doing what we love can help us feel better. It's worth a try.
- Hang out with loving friends and family. Being around people who care about you will help you feel happier.
- Get some counselling. It's always okay to ask for help. A counsellor or therapist will help you sort through your feelings which are making you feel confused. Try it.
If you're not sure where to turn, our organization can help!
Please email us at: email@example.com and we will refer you to an agency that will start you on the road to feeling better.
And remember - there WILL be better days ahead.
You are beautiful and unique and you owe it to yourself to be the happiest you can be.
Please talk to someone today.
Helping Survivors of Sexual Violence Find Hope, Healing & Happiness.
Empowered for Life!
Help for Kids and Teens
For more information about our programming, please call us today at 519-373-2458 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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