Insight for Parents

Don’t blame her

Rape is never the victim’s fault.  Don’t blame or criticize or find fault with her.  Most daughters do not disclose the rape to their parents, for fear of their reaction.  Be thankful if you know, and strive to provide a positive, loving, supportive environment.
“I told you so” is never appropriate.  Put your daughter’s feelings above your need to be right.

Believe her

Believe her.  Lots of people won’t believe her, for various “reasons.”  Let her see and know that you believe her.

Be supportive

Be supportive, listening to her, letting her talk when she chooses.
There are a lot of things going through her mind, and it will take time for her to sort things out.
She needs a friend who can be there for her.  Be her friend first, and her parent second.
Hold her when she wants to be held.
What happened to her wasn’t her fault.  It will take time for her to believe and understand that.  Give her a supportive environment and believe that too.
Take the opportunity to stop and smell the roses.  Take walks with her without saying a word.

Let her make choices

Don’t force anything on her.  Someone took control away from her; she needs the right to make her own decisions again.
Give her the time she needs; don’t pressure her to return to what you consider is normal.
It’s not your place to disclose the rape.
Your desire for justice may not match her desire.  Don’t fight with her over what should be done.
If you want to press charges, make sure you figured out what your motivation is.

Seek professional advice

Talk with a rape counselor as much as you need, to be best prepared and able to support your daughter through her recovery.
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Insight for Victims

You may be feeling confused, frightened, angry, shameful, or numb.  Reaction among rape survivors varies as does the healing process.  However statistics indicate a quicker recovery rate among survivors who seek help through some form of counseling (crisis, short-term, clinical, individual, or group).  The longer period of time you wait before talking with someone, the more complex the healing process becomes.  Realize, however, that it is never too late to talk about it.

Know that it wasn’t your fault and you’re not to blame.

Talk about it with a friend or rape counselor.  You do not have to disclose your name if you call a hotline.

Know that you don’t have to go through it alone.  There are understanding people who will believe you and can support you as you recover.

Realize that it’s a violent crime that’s been committed against you, regardless of who the rapist is.  Most victims are raped by people they know.

Understand that you can be a survivor and make it through this.
Stages of grief you may experience at different times: denial, anger, sadness/depression, bargaining, acceptance, and inner peace.

If you or someone you know has been raped, support options exist:

Call your local rape crisis center for support.  A rape crisis counselor can assist you, accompany you, and advocate for your rights.

Whether or not you decide to report the assault, you may want to be seen at your local emergency room.  You have up to five days after the assault to have a rape exam performed, however, it’s never too late to seek medical help and other support.

You may want preventative medication or testing for STDs including HIV.  This can be done at the hospital or your local test site.  If care is sought promptly, preventative medication may be an option.

You may be concerned about pregnancy.  A test can be done at the hospital or local family planning clinic.  Within three days of assault, preventative medication may be an option.

If you believe you may have been drugged, you can discuss having a urine test within the first three days with your hospital provider to detect the presence of a date rape drug.

If you choose to seek an evidence collection exam within five days at the hospital, it’s best not to shower, bathe, douche, change clothes or straighten up the area prior to your exam.  You can get a medical exam regardless.

You may choose to report the assault to the police.  If you are interested in victim compensation, it’s usually important to make a police report.
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Straight Talk For Boys

98% of rapists are men.   And we know that both girls and boys are raped, most commonly as young children or teens.  Let’s look at some important info which we can use to help stop rape.

Rape is nonconsensual sex.  It doesn’t have to involve physical force.  Pressuring someone to have sex, wearing that person down until they finally give in and say “Yes”, or having sex while they’re drunk or high can also be rape.  Merely a person’s size or weight against another person can make them fearful and feel trapped.  The bottom line is, if that person didn’t want to have sex (or couldn’t consent to sex), it’s rape.
It’s really important to listen to the person you’re with.  If things are unclear or uncertain, stop, ask, and make sure you’re both clear about what you want.Sometimes she’s trying to say one thing (verbally or non-verbally), and we think she means something else.  For example, if she’s struggling, some might think “Wow, she’s really hot. This is turning me on. She really wants it!”  But what if her struggles mean she wants you to stop?  If she says “No” or “Stop”, perhaps she’s not playing hard to get as some might think.  If you don’t want to end up in a bad situation, the best thing to do is to stop and ask her.  By caring for her and respecting her feelings and wishes, you can avoid a lot of problems.
Rape is a specific type of sexual abuse, and abuse is unfair and disrespectful to say the least.  A girl should have the right to her own beliefs, views, opinions, and choices.  She should have the ability to freely express herself, and be respected and treated as a person and an equal.  Would you like it if someone made decisions for you, told you how to dress or act, criticized you, pushed you around, or pressured you into doing things you didn’t feel comfortable doing?
Girls aren’t sexual objects.  Focusing on their physical sexuality and body parts demeans and disrespects them — it hurts to be made to feel like less than a person.  Being groped, brushed against, and called names are forms of harassment and abuse.  Would you want to be humiliated, exploited, or ridiculed?  The next time you see someone bothering a girl, speak out against discrimination, harassment, and abuse.
Some boys expect that a girl wants intercourse as much as they do.  They might also think that intercourse is as pleasing to her as it is to them.  Girls have their own unique needs and desires.  Unless you ask her, you may never discover what she might want or like.  Open honest communication can help you build a better relationship, and you might discover lots of new ways to enjoy each other’s company.
Some people are only interested in sex, and don’t care about another’s feelings.  Some think if they pay for a meal and a movie, that they’re owed something.  Some think a female’s “place” is to do the cooking and cleaning, to raise the kids, and to please the male when he wants it.  Examine your own beliefs and see if they are fair and equal and respectful.

People deserve to be respected.  You deserve to be respected.  And by respecting others and speaking out, you can respect yourself and feel good about yourself for caring and making a difference.

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For Girls

One out of four girls are raped by the age of 18.  Nearly all female teenage rape victims know their attacker:

56% raped by a date
30% raped by a friend
11% raped by a “boyfriend”

“Date/Acquaintance rape most commonly occurs when a male insists on sexual activity, won’t take no for an answer, and finally forces sex by threats or physical strength.  Acquaintance rape is as traumatic, perhaps more so, because a betrayal of trust is involved.”

Rape is never your fault.  70% of sexual assaults are planned.  So, here’s some planning you can do to become more informed and help prevent rape:

Know the statistics.  Understand how widespread the problem is.  Next read up on the myths about rape.

Many boys make assumptions about sex and what you want.  Decide what your limits are beforehand and be clear about them.  It is absolutely fine not to want any sexual contact.  Make sure that he accepts the responsibility not to harm you.

Know yourself and your sexuality.  Sexual desires are a normal, natural part of who you are.  

Watch out for your friends, and ask them to watch out for you.

Know what to do,  to keep yourself safe.  Avoid being isolated.  Stay sober — there is a higher incidence of rape with the use of drugs or alcohol, as well as the danger of date rape drugs being put in your beverage.

Know what to do in a rape crisis situation:”… get angry.  Don’t worry about being polite.  If you need to yell or hurt him to attract help or get away, do it.  …  Don’t worry about his feelings.  Make a scene.”
Trust your instincts and feelings.

You have a right to feel safe.  Consider a relationship contract.  If your boyfriend isn’t open to making agreements for a safe, happy relationship, that should be a warning sign.

Physical and emotional abuse are also dangers in relationships today. 

If you feel this article was helpful to you, please email the web page address to your friends.

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