This isn’t a subject that’s easy to talk about, we get it. That’s why we’ve put this page together so you can get some information and support from the right people and services.
One thing we want to say though is It’s Not Your Fault (even though you might feel like it is), we can 100% guarantee that none of this is your fault.
It’s helpful to tell someone as soon as possible about what’s happened. That way you get the proper support you need. Getting support doesn’t mean your weak or going ‘mad’, everyone needs some help sometime. Try to talk to someone that you trust and feel comfortable with, someone like your best mate, your mates mum or dad, your mum or dad, a teacher you get on with, or what about your doctor?
As a young person, you have a right to confidentiality. However if they are worried about your safety, the professional people you talk to might need to speak to a doctor or social worker. They will discuss this with you so you have the chance to talk about how you feel about it. They must take any worries you have seriously.
In the meantime, our friends at The Haven’s in London have given us permission to use their booklet called
Coping with Sexual Assault: A Guide for Young People
This booklet has been written for young people aged 13 to 16 who have been raped or sexually assaulted. If this has happened to you, perhaps you are struggling to cope? Do you think that no-one understands what you have gone through and how it makes you feel? Maybe you think you are losing your mind? Do you try to do everything possible not to talk or think about what has happened? Experience tells us that people who understand their reactions after an assault are better at coping with them and so are able to recover more quickly. As such the focus of this booklet is on common thoughts, feelings and behaviour following an assault as well as offering practical tips on how to cope. Topics like the law, myths about rape and sexual assault and who you can contact if you have been assaulted are also covered.
This booklet might be difficult to use if you’re coming to terms with being raped or sexually assaulted. You might find that concentrating on it for any length of time is difficult and that some of the things you read are upsetting. To help you make the most of this booklet, here are a few tips on how to use it.
- Reading the whole booklet from beginning to end in one go might be difficult for you right now, so perhaps you could read it in small chunks and for a few minutes at a time.
- If there are parts that upset you it might be because they remind you of what has happened. These feelings are normal and will pass with time.
- If there are parts of the booklet that you don’t understand perhaps you could ask a parent or friend who knows what has happened to you to help you.
We work closely with St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre and they really do have a brilliant service for children and young people. If you are being hurt or have been then honestly, they are the people that can help. Have a look at there website by clicking here or call them on 0161 276 6515
Childline has a website that has a special section about sexual abuse. We think its really good and tells it straight to be honest. Have a look the Childline website or call them free on 0800 1111.