Sexual Abuse

Over two thirds of rapes are committed by a known attacker.  Loving someone doesn’t give them permission to use you in sexual ways you’ve not consented to.  Sexual abuse includes:

  • Forcing you to watch pornography;
  • Forcing or manipulating you into to having sex or performing sexual acts;
  • Holding you down or hurting you with weapons or objects during sex;
  • Demanding sex when you’re sick, tired or after hurting you;
  • Involving other people in sexual activities with you against your will;
  • Ignoring your feelings regarding sex;
  • Insulting you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names;
  • Intentionally trying to give you a sexually transmitted disease.

Sexual coercion can be statements that make you feel pressured, guilty, or shamed into having sex. Even if your partner doesn’t force you into performing sexual acts against your will, being made to feel obligated is coercion in itself.

  • Making you feel like you owe them because they spent money on you or bought you a gift;
  • Giving you drugs and alcohol to lower your inhibitions;
  • Reacting negatively if you say no or don’t immediately agree to something;
  • Making you feel threatened or afraid of what might happen if you say “no”;
  • Continuing to pressure you after you’ve said no

are all forms of coercion.  Remember, just because you are dating someone or married doesn’t mean that you owe your partner.

For sexual abuse support call the National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE (4673). At any given moment, more than 1,100 trained volunteers are on duty and available to help victims at Rape Abuse and Incest National Network-affiliated crisis centers across the country.

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