About Sexual Abuse:
For young people to read:
- Sexual abuse is wrong and it is illegal.
- Nobody has a right to touch any part of your body when it makes you feel uncomfortable, scared or unsafe.
- If the person touching you also tells you not to tell anyone, or threatens you if you ever did tell, then you are most likely being sexually abused.
- Sexual abuse can be physical or non physical. For example:
- Physical: Fondling or any kind of inappropriate touching; Rape, or attempted rape; being forced to create pornography.
- Non physical: If you are forced or encouraged to watch sexual acts either in person or on video. When another person intentionally exposes him or herself to you (called indecent exposure). Intentional talk about sex that attempts to shock or excite you for the benefit of the person you are with.
- Sexual abuse is never your fault.
- Strangers rarely commit sexual abuse and sexual assault. Most sexual abuse is committed by a family member and/or by another trusted adult whom you already know and trust.
- It is very important to tell a trusted adult what is happening. Consider telling a parent you are close to, a teacher, counselor, clergy person, or other trusted adult. Keep telling until someone does something to make it stop!
- Crisis Hotlines may also be helpful to you. Just know that help is available.
- Childhelp's National Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) (24 hours a day)
- Here are some good, local and regional crisis hotlines:
Greater New Bedford area: Rape Crisis Center: 508- 996-6656
Department of Social Services, New Bedford: 508-910-1000 (days)
Department of Social Services, Fall River: 508-235-9800 (days)
Child at Risk Hotline (24 hours) 1-800-792-5288
Your local police will also help you. Just dial 911
- Covenant House: ("Nine-Line") 1-800-999-9999.
Or online at: http://www.covenanthouse.org
- Girls and Boys Town National Hotline: 1-800-448-3000
Online reach them at http://www.boystown.org