Someone you know and even love can abuse you. Sexual abuse can harm your body. But you also suffer serious mental harm. This can harm your health and well-being.
Not your fault
Sexual abuse is not your fault. If someone abused you, you may feel guilt or shame. You may even think the abuse was your fault. The first step to feeling better is to know that the abuse is not your fault. It is a crime. No one ever deserves it.
You can heal with help. Ask for help. This takes courage. Sometimes people tell loved ones or friends about abuse, and those people do not believe them. If this happens, do not give up.
There are experts who help people recover. Tell your health care provider, nurse, counselor, or social worker. You can also report sexual abuse to the police.
Call for help
Is the abuse still happening? You cannot get away from the abuser? If so, call your health clinic, hospital or the police for help or to find safe houses you can go to right away.
You can call these organizations for help:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453)
Experts can help you find a support group. This allows you to get support from others who have been sexually abused. You do not have to suffer alone.