Taken in whole or in part from www.rainn.org
The Hard Facts
Abuse usually goes unnoticed a lot of the time. And if you are the victim of emotion, physical or sexual abuse you know how terrifying it really is. But abuse doesn't have to happen to you or anyone else! There are many ways to get help if you yourself or somebody else you know is abused. Abuse is beyond punishment or discipline and is unnecessary. Children or teens who are abused during childhood sometimes end up being abusers themselves. Child abuse can lead later on in life suicide, depression, disorders, physical handicaps and many emotional scars.
How do I know its abuse?
There are 3 types of abuse.. Physical, Sexual and emotion/mental. Physical abuse is when somebody hits, punches, slaps, bites, burns or any other way to physically harm your body. Sexual abuse is when a person sexually treats you in a way that you aren't comfortable with such as sexual intercourse or outer course with a minor (someone who is under 18). Emotional or mental abuse is when somebody says something to lower you self esteem for example calling someone stupid, worthless, etc. or saying to someone that they aren't loved. Abuse is when a parent or somebody you know (family or non-related) does something to hurt you purposely.
What do I do now?
If someone you know or you are being abused contact your local social services, police station, or hospital. If you or another person is in immediate danger of abuse call 911
Child Help USA Child Abuse hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
What is rape? What is sexual assault?
RAPE is forced sexual intercourse, including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object such as a bottle. This definition includes attempted rapes, male and female victims, and heterosexual and homosexual rape. SEXUAL ASSAULT includes a wide range of victimizations, distinct from rape or attempted rape. These crimes include completed or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between the victim and offender. Sexual assaults may or may not involve force and include such things as grabbing or fondling. Sexual assault also includes verbal threats.
What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?
- Find a safe environment - anywhere away from the attacker. Ask a trusted friend stay with you for moral support.
- Preserve evidence of the attack - don't bathe or brush your teeth. Write down all the details you can recall about the attack & the attacker.
- Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline, operated by RAINN, for free, confidential counseling, 24 hours a day: 1-800-656-HOPE.
- Get medical attention. Even with no physical injuries, it is important to determine the risks of STDs and pregnancy. To preserve forensic evidence, ask the hospital to conduct a rape kit exam.
- Report the rape to law enforcement authorities. A counselor can provide the information you'll need understand the process.
- Remember it wasn't your fault.
- Recognize that healing from rape takes time. Give yourself the time you need.
- Know that it's never too late to call. Even if the attack happened years ago, the National Sexual Assault Hotline can still help. Many victims do not realize they need help until months or years later.
How can I help a friend who has been sexually assaulted?
- Listen. Be there. Don't be judgmental.
- Encourage your friend to seriously consider reporting the rape to law enforcement authorities. A counselor can provide the information your friend will need to make this decision.
- Be patient. Remember, it will take your friend some time to deal with the crime.
- Let your friend know that professional help is available through the National Sexual Assault Hotline. Encourage him or her to call the hotline, but realize that only your friend can make the decision to get help.
What can I do to reduce my risk of sexual assault?
- Don't leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container.
- When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, watch out for each other, and leave together.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Don't allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don't know or trust.
- Think about the level of intimacy you want in a relationship, and clearly state your limits.