Sexual Abuse

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Sexual Abuse

Dear GZ Advisor,
Someone, please help me. I don't know how I got mixed up in this. My mom has a boyfriend, and she loves him. I used to until two months ago. He does bad stuff to me. He touches me in places that he shouldn't. I yell at him and try to get him out, but he just makes an excuse.

My mom doesn't believe me, because she loves him and doesn't believe that he would do this. But like yesterday night, he came in, and said, 'Lay down NOW!' So I said, 'Get out of my room now,' and he told me that he would kill me if I didn't let him do this.

So I lay face down and he pulled off my clothes, every piece so I was naked. Then he turned me front side up and touched me in ways that he shouldn't. I hated it. He kept doing stuff to me, and then he raped me. And I didn't get my period yet. Please help.*
Signed -- Anna

Dear Anna,
Thank you for contacting the GZ Advisor for help. Reaching out is the first step toward stopping the abuse, and that takes a lot of courage.

Your mother's boyfriend is sexually and emotionally abusing you, and it's not only wrong, it's illegal! You must take action immediately to get help from trained adults who have experience with child sexual abuse. Right now, even if you feel embarrassed or frightened, even though he's threatened you, and even if you are afraid no one will believe you, you need to tell an adult what's happening. You can tell a teacher, a doctor, the school principal or counselor, a friend's parent, a relative, a neighbor, a minister, rabbi, or priest, or any other adult you choose. Keep telling until you find someone who will listen, understand, and who will help you.

Get immediate help by calling 1-800-4-A-CHILD which is the toll-free number for Child Help USA. This National Abuse Hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you call this number you will get to talk to a trained professional who is there to help children and teens who are suffering from any kind of abuse, including sexual abuse, physical or emotional abuse, and neglect. Anna, please call them right now.

Another number to call is: 1 800 656-HOPE which is a help line for anyone who has been raped, or the Youth Crisis Hotline 1 800 448-4663. These people will listen to you and believe you.  You can visit this website RAINN.

Another service you can contact is your county's child protective services. Dial O or 411, and ask the operator for the number, or look in the phone book in county government listings under social service.

This man's abuse of you is very harmful and you must do everything you can to stop it. Many children and teens are taught to be respectful of adults. Do NOT be polite or respectful to any adult who tries to have sexual contact with you. Keep saying No! in whatever way you think will be the most effective -- get away from the person -- do whatever it takes to get them to LEAVE YOU ALONE!

What do YOU think Anna should do? Read this list of 9 Things To Do If You Or A Friend is Being Abused from The All-New Book Of Lists For Kids by Sandra & Harry Choron and see if you agree with their advice.

The authors say: If you or a friend is being abused you must seek help. The only person responsible for child abuse is the person committing the abuse, not you and not your friend. Here are some ways of getting help.

1. Talk to the parent who is not committing the abuse.

2. Talk to another adult member of your family you love and trust.

3. Talk to a teacher.

4. Talk to a religious leader.

5. Call the police.

6. Talk to your family doctor.

7. Get the phone number of a Child Abuse, Family Services, or Mental Health agency from your telephone book and call them.

8 (updated by Girl Zone) Contact an StopFamilyViolence or call a hotline for help - 1-800-799-SAFE.

9. Go to a hospital emergency room and report the abuse.

Anna, taking these steps won't be easy but all of us at Girl Zone know you can do it. Please let us know how you are doing. We care...
from -- the GZ Advisor

*Special Note -- Anna's letter has been edited slightly so that more girls will be allowed to read it. (Some of the terms used in the original letter would have kept girls whose parents have sites locked out if they contain certain words from reading Anna's letter.)