Sexual Abuse

Don't suffer in SILENCE

What is sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is any form of sexual activity that one does not agree to.
Some examples include:
Some types of kissing.
Touching private parts of the body, or someone touching you in a way that you are uncomfortable with.
Someone making you touch them in a way that you are uncomfortable with.
Someone taking pictures of you or making you take pictures of them that you are uncomfortable with.
Being forced to look at pornographic forms such as websites, magazines or videos.
Rape – this is when someone is forced to have sex when they do not agree to.
There are many other examples.

Who abuses?

Many may think that abusers are strangers but while this is the case sometimes, abusers are usually not strangers. Some examples of those who may abuse are:
A relative such as a parent or guardian, a sibling, a aunt or uncle or a grandparent
Someone at school
A friend
A friend of the family
A neighbour
Someone who may be looking after you like a minder
A youth worker
Anyone can abuse – these are only some examples. No one has the right to abuse, even if the abuser is very close to you; they are not allowed to do anything that you are uncomfortable with.

How might the sexual abuse make you feel?

Want to get away
Scared about having a boyfriend or girlfriend

How it can affect behaviour?

Not taking care of oneself
Problems with a boyfriend or girlfriend
Scared of sex or any kind of sexual contact
Problems in school
Problems sleeping
Bad dreams
Trouble with friends
May become withdrawn
May want to run away
Loss of temper
Poor concentrating
Eating problems
Lack of drive to do anything
This is a very serious problem and can make young people feel very different emotions; sexual abuse is more common than many think, it is important for sexual abuse to be dealt with.  This should not be a secret that you keep to yourself.

Who can I tell?

A class tutor
Youth worker
A member of an Garda Síochána
A friend
A relative such as a parent or guardian, a sibling, a aunt or uncle or a grandparent
A friend’s parent
A helpline
It is important that you tell someone you trust about the abuse.
Sexual abuse may take a long time to get over but with the correct help and support, recovery is made easier. For something such as serious as sexual abuse, you may need to get professional help to aid the recovery and help you deal with what has happened.
If you or someone you know is being sexually abused it is very important to tell someone you trust and get the help needed for a full recovery. Do not let an abuser threaten or frighten you into not telling someone. They are the ones who are in the wrong not you!!!!