What is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual Abuse is when one person uses another in a sexual way for his or her own pleasure. An abuser can be an adult, teen or older child. The abused person is usually seen as weaker or smaller then the abuser and therefore easier to control. Though sexual abuse involves the use of sex, abuse is really about having great power and trying to control an individual.

How many young people are sexually abused?

In the United States, up to 1 in 3 females and 1 in 6 males will be sexually abused by the age 18. The exact number of how many people are abused is not known, because a lot of people never tell about the abuse.

Sexual abuse is an extremely hurtful situation for young people to have to live with. It is very important that a young person that has been sexually abused tell someone they trust.

How does it feel to be sexually abused?

Many teens grow up thinking that they deserved the abuse. Many teens believe that they are actually responsible for the abuse. Some feel shame, doubt, and guilt about the abuse. Many teens feel that they are alone in the world and few others have experienced abuse. This is not true, 1 in 3 females and 1 in 6 males have experienced sexual abuse.

What is Teen Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault or rape is committed by force or threat. Most teens are assaulted by someone they know. Forcing sex on anyone is always wrong.

How can you protect yourself against teen sexual assault? 

  1. Set limits concerning sex. Know how far you are willing to go and let your partner know too, before you get to that point in your relationship.

  2. Always know who you are with. Let your parents know where you are going and who you will be with and how to get in touch with you at all times.

  3. Never leave your drink alone. A lot of drugs can be put into drinks that may affect your body in a way that you can’t protect yourself.

  4. Stay in a group of friends when you go out.

  5. Follow your instincts. If a situation doesn’t feel right then get out of that situation as soon as possible.

What should you do if you have been sexually abused?

Tell your parents or another trusted adult. If you can’t tell your parents then call Child Protective Services or Law Enforcement. You can always report to your school counselor or teacher, also.

What should you do if someone you know is sexually abused?

  1. Remain calm. Listen to their story. Don’t make judgments of them.

  2. Tell them that what happened was wrong and not their fault.

  3. Encourage them to report the abuse to an adult that they trust.

What is personal safety?How can I practice personal safety?

Personal Safety is when you think and act in a way that will help to keep you safe. Your safety will often depend on how you think and behave in certain situations.

The following are ways to stay safe:

  1. Create safety rules: Stay away from strangers, never walk alone, and always tell someone where you are.

  2. Develop trusting relationships with your parents, friends, etc.

  3. Use assertive communication, meaning, make sure that people you talk to know what you will and will not do.

  4. Have a positive self-image and self-esteem. You are a special person, you deserve respect.

  5. Improve your decision making skills. Think about how your decision may affect your life down the road or how it may affect other’s lives.

  6. Create a support network, a group of people your age and adults that you can trust and confide in.


Please contact The Cottage hotline if you or someone you know may be interested in any teen services provided by The Cottage.