I think the ads present a very limited view of young men. I have two sons and two daughters 21 to 27 years old.
I recognise the dangers of abuse in lots of relationships involving young people but your campaign focuses on gender abuse/violence and in so doing portrays young men in a stereotypically primitive way as the ones dishing out abuse and violence.
What about male on male or female on female abuse - not only sexual but ridicule and exploitation. Its about power and dsplays of power happen in a variety of relatonships and across the sexes as well as in non sexual and same sex relatonships.
Can we not teach young people to recognise abuse without demonising one half of them ?
Thanks for your feedback; we are sorry that you feel like this about the campaign.
We are aware that anyone can be a victim of abuse whether they are female, male, gay or straight, and we are also aware that most teenage boys have normal and healthy relationships. However, in abusive relationships the statistics show that it is usually the male in the relationship that is the abuser and the female the victim and therefore it is important for the campaign to reflect this.
Our objective is to help both boys and girls spot the signs of abuse in relationships and raise awareness of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour, and although we depict a female victim in the advert, the messages are relevant for both boys and girls whether they are victims or abusers,
We have provided advice and information on the website which points all victims to the help they need - http://thisisabuse.direct.gov.uk/need-help - including specific help for male victims of violence and abuse through Respect and Survivors UK. The site is also a forum where young people can pose questions and discuss the issue with their peers and experts in the field.
We also work with partners such as the Dudley Safe and Sound partnership who have produced videos about male victims of abuse and those in gay relationships, which you can view by clicking on this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt-U2ue-QmU
I have had a baby with my partner and things only got worse. Many a time I've felt like jumping in front of a train or driving off a bridge.
He's brainwashed me to think its all my fault and my wrong doing and it kills me. I cant take it anymore but I love him so much.
I am tyring to be strong but I dont want to leave him I so desperately want us to work and for him to seek help. I dont want to be another statistic of a single mum thats been in an abusive relationship.
Worse thing is that he tells me I can leave him and he will be fine but before hes told me he will throw acid in my face so that no one goes near me again and hes threatened to kill me so I am finding it really hard to leave.
I cant seek help from any of the organisations that are there to help because if you disclose violence or anything that is concerning they have an obligation to go to the police and I do love him and dont want him to be arrested for what he has done.
Not only because I love him but because its happened its in the past and I dont want to drag it up again its too much heartache. Also because a prison sentance doesnt solve the underlying issues he has.
And lastly I dont want to make the situation and worse than it already is or to make him any more angry than he already gets...
Thanks for your message.
Please understand that staying in a relationship where you are being abused can cause you to lose your self-esteem and confidence. An abusive, violent or controlling relationship is not normal and not acceptable, nobody needs to tolerate this behaviour, and it's definitely not your fault. Your partner's bullying is obviously making you worried, emotional abuse can also lead to physical abuse - your partner is already threatening violence - and you've contemplated suicide. We would urge you to talk to someone about what's been happening.
It can be very hard to leave an abusive relationship - no matter what kind - it’s also very important to leave the relationship safely. There are many reasons why people don't feel they can leave. Fear is a huge one, also uncertainty about what to do/who can help. Some people may not realise that they are being abused and not even be looking for help. A big factor in not leaving can simply be love. Love is such a powerful emotion it can overrule anything else. We would encourage you to think about completing a safety plan like this: http://www.respectnotfear.co.uk/keepingsafe/47-keeping-safe-in-an-unhealthy-relationship.html
my partner keeps pulling me up on things saying i'm forgetting things.
The other day he told me i hadn't told him that i went to see a friend & it turned into a big row as i felt like i was going mad as i really thought i did tell him.
This made him hit me several times & then after said he has a nice suprise for me & he only hit me cause he loved me so much , but still expected me to say i was wrong for not telling him the truth & i couldn't admit this as in my head i really thought i did tell him.
Abuse is wrong and never okay. If you’re suffering from physical abuse, and signs can include slapping, kicking, hitting or injuries as a result of violent behaviour, it’s important to try and find someone you trust to talk to. It could be a teacher, a parent or other relative, a close friend, a youth worker or anyone else that you feel comfortable talking to. It doesn't have to be someone in authority, just someone that you think you can talk to and trust.
If they don't want to listen, keep trying until you find someone that does, you have the right to be safe and help and support is out there.
If you’re under 18, you can also call ChildLine on 0800 1111 to talk about any problem. No problem is too big or small for them. Alternatively, you can go to www.childline.org.uk where you can contact them by email and text, chat to a counsellor online or post to the message boards.
If you’re over 18, you can call the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge).
I heard the advert on the radio on my way to uni and could relate to almost everything said.
I don't really know how to explain the situation and I think I cause most of our problems.
I am from a travelling background, my boyfriend (husband to be) and me have been together nearly 3 years I'm 18 now.
We used to be so good together, we had occassional row but so does everyone. The thing that causes the problem is that unlike our culture states I have stayed in education and am currently at uni studying social work, I have very strong morals and do live by our culture but I just want to be my own person and not owned by a man for the rest of my life.
During our relationship we never had any sexual contact because we believe this comes after marriage only he kept on and on about it and eventually I just gave in, the first few times were ok but now its just like a chore whenever he wants it I cant argue.
Im not allowed to talk to other boys, he now takes me to uni and picks me up so he knows where I am and gets cross when I have to go to work.
A lot of people who have experienced all kinds of abuse will blame themselves. However, the responsibility lies solely with the abuser, never with you. This can be hard to get your head around, as can still loving that person. Again, that is also completely normal and many people are torn between loving the person and hating their behaviour. Just because the abuse went on for a long time, does not mean you were complicit in this.
Please remember, you have nothing to feel ashamed or guilty about.
Sad, all to common.
I can think of two girls who suffered abuse myself, both whom work at the same place as me.
One of these girls boyfriends said to her 'You drove me to this'
To stop abuse, you need people to see it as unacceptable, and boys (and sometimes girls also) if they abuse their partners to get stigmatised, and for abuse to socially unacceptable.
People who actively promote abuse by doing things such as, cough cough, selling t-shirts saying 'Keep calm and rape her' or 'Keep Calm and hit her' also need to face criminal prosecution themselves - surely there is a law somewhere that they can be done under, and if there isn't its about time some MADE ONE.
Recently, I watched the 'BEDROOM' video on teenage domestic abuse, and found myself utterly appalled at the ending where the girl (the victim) is banging on the glass with the 'would you see abuse' statement. What I got from this was that the abuse was the girl's fault for whatever reason.
As a victim of domestic abuse myself (I was in an abusive relationship aged 14), I find this very demeaning as, after years of counselling, I discovered that it was not my fault.
I understand that the point of it is to try and get the victim to speak up about the abuse, but I really did not see or feel this from the way it was portrayed. It took me so long to realise that it wasn't my fault, and that I shouldn't feel bad for not picking up that it was abuse straight away.
I just don't feel like that is shown by the ending of this video.
I'm sorry if anyone disagrees, or finds this irrelevant, but it's just my opinion on the video.
Thank you for your feedback, we are sorry to hear that you find the advert distressing.
We do realise that this is an extremely sensitive subject. We also realise that the advert is confrontational and difficult to watch, this is because it’s a very real representation of a very real problem.
Research shows that there are large numbers of teenagers (both male and female) who view this sort of behaviour as normal and/or just something that you put up with.
Our objective for this campaign is to improve understanding of what is and isn’t acceptable sexual behaviour, thereby helping people to recognise and name sexual abuse and rape as such.
The advert was developed with the help of several charities who work with people who have been affected by this issue and was also extensively researched with young people prior to being made.
The reason for it being shown on national television is an attempt to reach as many people as possible, creating national awareness of a national problem. We have already seen, in the response to the advert on this website, that it is proving helpful in enabling young people to rethink their attitudes towards rape.
We are truly sorry to hear of your distress but hope that you can appreciate the need to address this very serious issue.
unsure of who I am
I am currently in a relationship, my other half was abused as a child up untill 15 years old.
Having his home set on fire, being made to watch his mother being sexually attacked, tighted to chairs at knife point from a young age. He had no nice childhood memories, I tried my hardest to make me some such as a teddy bear picnic.
Since 4 months into our relationship he started accusing me of having sex with his friends, I don't going out with the girls I'm 20 and now go bingo with his mum and sunbed for 10 minutes alone. He comes home and checks the bed, condoms and my body.
I suffer with ezuma I have done for years, when it appers afters stressful days he calls me discussing saying ' I can't even look at you, maybe you got it from him!'
His never layed a hand on me only once he has pushed me across the kitchen, other times he'll punch doors, rip doors off throw objects across the room recently tipping the bed over shouting while I had to use the bedroom bin to be sick as I couldn't leave the room.
I've asked him to get help for his past as well as his temper today but this behavoiur is unaccpectable.
It doesn't help with everyone in his family involing them selfs to try and help witch just causes more arugments we never aruge unless a member of his family or his friends say something.
I used to be such a happy, outgoing young soul now I cook clean and hope some days I don't waken from my sleep.
Thanks for your message, we are really sorry to hear about your abusive relationship.
It's important that if you are feeling depressed or suicidal you need to try and find someone you trust to talk to. It could be a parent or other relative, a close friend or anyone else that you feel comfortable talking to. There are people who understand, and who can help you deal with the problems you are going through. The Samaritans may also be able to help, take a look at their website at http://www.samaritans.org.uk/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the Samaritans helpline on 08457 909090.
My boyfriend and I argue a lot with each other lately and I feel like it is my fault and feel like I am the one who is in the wrong and I can justify this.
My ex boyfriend was fine we were happy so i know i have the potential to be a good girlfriend but recently in the last 12 months of our 4 year relationship my boyfriend and I have entered a slippery slope. I feel like I am always getting upset but he doesn't do anything wrong, he never checks up on me and trust everything I say but I struggle to reciprocate this behaviour to him because in the last year I found out there were two separate occasions of two different girls messaging him and I know nothing came of the messages as they don't live near us AND he wouldn't ever go that far as his mum was cheated by his dad and it broke his heart seeing that happen to his mum. So i DO trust him but even knowing that there was some flirting going on has shattered my emotions and I need tips on how to cope with the feeling of anxiety I get now. I love him to pieces he is a really nice guy and we all make mistakes and seeing as the messages were SO harmless i feel pathetic letting them bother me so much. I need tips on how to overcome these feeling when they arise. I have tried counting to 10 or removing myself from the situation till i feel better but he doesn't always give me the chance to do this. I don't want him to feel like i am a bad girlfriend and I dont want him to worry about my trust issues and how they're driving me insane.
I think that alongside violent abuse, this website should also show examples of subtle emotional abuse, as this is often the hardest to spot.
I had a boyfriend who was charming and lovely and in many ways a great guy. He was fun and would take me out great places and we would laugh so much and he also was great to talk to and seemed to have a really good heart.
However, due to his own issues with self-esteem, he does not feel comfortable being with someone unless they absolutely adore him and he can be sure they won't leave him. To ensure this he seeks to subtlety destroy your self esteem, so that you don't think you're worth very much, and will become highly dependent on him.
He also is obsessed with beautiful model females and the status of being seen with such a girl. He used 'back handed compliments' which I'm not going to directly quote on here but an example would be 'I love your blonde hair, it's weird cos I always go for brunettes'.
Little things like this that really get you thinking when you're low on yourself. And often these comments would be far more damaging and would often relate to weight, size and shape. Even though I'm a size 6-8. He once overheard me saying I'm a 6 he said are you ?!! And I said yes....why? And he said haaaaa right just didn't realise. Making it clear he thought I was much bigger.
He used to criticise what I ate and how I ate so that I was scared to even eat around him. He used to criticise me in bed, literally half way through just tell me what I was doing was rubbish. He refused to wear condoms and when I finally got the strength to insist he told me the sex was rubbish with them and not worth having basically.
It was a combination of incredibly subtle comments and then other more blatant ones but after a few months of this daily abuse I have genuinely never felt so worthless and ugly in my life. I had already changed my hair to how he wanted it and started attending the gym and watching my diet and also wearing my makeup heavier because he liked it that way. And after all this he still wasn't pleased and I eventually exploded and told him I wasn't changing anymore for him.
He went back to his ex as he found her much easier to control (she turned anorexic after a year with him).
It has taken me around 18months - 2 years to finally rebuild my confidence and to really fully understand what went on between us. I initially kicked myself for messing things up with a 'perfect guy' and only as my confidence came back did I realise it was his loss actually and that I would have never been happy in that relationship.
I just wanted to share this incase anyone is in a similar situation or knows of anyone with a guy like this because I can tell you from experience although its so subtle it does really really mess you up and destroy all of your happiness.
Near enough every advert or video I see about abuse is boy against girl. Such an attitude is sexist and this site is sexist. Not all cases of abuse are guys against girls, and statistics show that in physically abusive relationships women land more blows than men.
Talking about what happened to you is really important, especially if you're suicidal. You can get help - call the helpline for men experiencing domestic abuse in confidence on freephone 0808 801 0327, email email@example.com or visit www.mensadviceline.org.uk
SurvivorsUK also supports adult men over the age of 18 who have experienced sexual violation at any time in their lives. They offer a helpline for male survivors, their friends, family and carers on 0845 1221201 (Mon/Tues 7-9.30pm and Thurs 12-2.30pm) and a London based counselling service offering low cost individual counselling and group therapy: www.survivorsuk.org / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi, I have just been abused by a women for 2 years, I nearly took my own life.
It has to be recognised that Women abuse Men as well, hence I have contacted the House of Commons for a change in the Law.
carlos - 18/03/2013
Thanks for your feedback.
We are sorry that you feel like this about the campaign. We are aware that anyone can be a victim of abuse whether they are female, male, gay or straight. To be clear, the objective of this campaign is to help both boys and girls spot the signs of abuse in relationships and raise awareness of what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour.
This site has lots of information and advice in the ‘your questions’ and ‘need help’ sections for males who have been victims of abuse and those in same sex relationships.
It’s good that the campaign is prompting you to ask questions and seek more information.
We work with partners such as the Dudley Safe and Sound partnership who have produced videos about male victims of abuse and those in gay relationships, which you can view by clicking on this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt-U2ue-QmU
I've been with my bf for over a year and he grew up as a child surrounded my a domestically violent dad, who left the home when my bf was about 9. I'm going to refer as my bf as "him". He is actually having therapy at the moment for his phobia to flying, but for his first consultation he had to describe his childhood and the therapist told him his childhood was very traumatic and violent. Due to this, I seem to excuse his current behaviour. Basically. I met him aged 18 and him 22. I had just come out of a long term relationship and been partying loads with friends and living life up a bit. Once I met him, we spent a lot of dates together and I still went out with my friends- it was a healthy balance. However, a few months in he would want me to stay round his on Saturday nights (he lives an hour and a half train journey from me) which is fine but he then wanted me to stay EVERY Saturday which meant my usual Saturdays out disappeared. He started to get angry if I ever wanted to meet some friends for a drink- even casually. Eventually, I Never went out with my friends as it was too much of an effort or argument to even bring it up with him as he would row with me or say I want to be single or that I want to cheat on him. One time we went to a concert and he got so drunk and because I didn't want to get on his shoulders he started to pinch me so hard that I started cryinginfront of everyone and even a random member of the public asked if I was okay. He apologised loads after and said he'd never do it again. I had a friends birthday coming up and boyfriends were invited so I invited him but he was going to meet us at the venue instead of the pub we were at before. He was meeting a few friends prior to meeting us at the club. Other girl's boyfriends were meant to meet us at the club aswell but they turned up at the pub we were at before. I text my boyfriend telling him the boyfriends had come and he went mad at me. He said I lied and didn't invite him to the first bit on purpose. He was drunk at this point. When I arrived at the club he called me and demanded I meet him as he had a taxi waiting for us to go home. I said what! And he said I needed to come with him or he'd dump me. So I was so scared I went to meet him without even entering the club for my friend's birthday. My friends were understandably mad at me. He then realised how drunk he w the next day with me crying so much at hurting my friends for leaving. He apologised to the, all by calling the, and texting the, and saying he was so drunk he was so so sorry.
Other issues are that I no longer have my friends as they think I don't make an effort with them but I don't want to tell them about his true actions as they'd be shocked that I'd even think to stay with him. I'm now working and if any work drinks come up I always turn them down as the argument we'll end up having isnt worth it. On the rare occasion I go to a few after work drinks, I literally have to build up to "asking" him to go and he will end up saying "I don't trust you" and "I want to meet you after" or not to stay late and to leave at like 8.
He has called me every bad word under the sun and has called me the C word countless times. However, a lot of the time he is so nice and loving then it will be the times that he is provoked or stuff that he doesn't like. Basically I have become a doormat but I love the guy and its true my security lies in him and that's what's bad about it. He has pinched me and pulled my hair. Sometimes this ends in me crying and eventually he'll apologise.
I think he is insecure and feels like I'm too good for him as he has a son from a previous relationship and feels like he has too much baggage and I'm too young that I'll run away. I don't care about all that and I tell him this but he just has that control over my life and I tell him this also and he just laughs and says I'm "over emotional".
What you've described is an abusive relationship. Please understand that abuse is wrong and never okay, no one should tolerate this behaviour, it's not normal and it's not acceptable. Emotional abuse can damage your confidence and your self-worth, signs of such abuse can include someone putting you down, calling you nasty names, trying to control you and preventing you from doing certain things or making you do things you don’t want to do. It can also lead to physical abuse - find out more here - http://thisisabuse.direct.gov.uk/worried-about-abuse/view/spot-the-signs.
It can be very hard to leave an abusive relationship, no matter what kind. If you do decide to leave it's important you do so safely. There are many reasons why people don't feel they can leave; fear is a huge one, also uncertainty about what to do/who can help. Some people may not realise that they are being abused and not even be looking for help. A big factor in not leaving can simply be love. Love is such a powerful emotion it can overrule anything else. If you are still with your boyfriend, we would urge you to think about completing a safety plan like this: http://www.respectnotfear.co.uk/keepingsafe/47-keeping-safe-in-an-unhealthy-relationship.html
We think it's important to try and find someone you trust to talk to about all this - it doesn’t have to be someone in authority, just someone that you think you can talk to and trust. And if they don't want to listen, keep trying until you find someone that does, you have the right to be safe and help and support is out there.
You can call the 24 hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge) in confidence for advice and guidance - and you can visit here for more information http://www.womensaid.org.uk/.
Reading these stories of young women being used and abused like this has reminded me of a time when I was 14 and went through something similar.
I'm going to write it down now for the first time in my life (I'm now in my late 50s) as a cautionary tale for all you young ladies out there.
I was very arty and spent a lot of spare time drawing on the local harbour, An older guy - I think he was probably in his early 40s) used to hang around and often waved from a distance. I was brought up to be friendly and this was a small close knit town, so I always waved back,
Every saturday afternoon he would walk past and comment on my drawings, staying longer each time. I thought he was a really friendly man and was flattered by the attention, I was a plump child and hadn't really had a proper boyfriend before then.
He started talking about being my boyfriend and asking would I like to have a relationship with him as he was single (imagine my shock when I saw him in town in the coming months with a wife and 3 children).
One Saturday he suggested we go for a walk, and despite alarm bells ringing I went. It was exciting having a secret boyfriend - he had said not to tell anyone as he we older than me and people might try to break us up. I was swept away with the romance of it all and he was so nice!
On the walk he steered me into some woods and started to kiss me. I was ok for awhile until he started to push his tongue in my mouth and hold me roughly against a tree. I said stop, I didnt like lit, but he was too fired up by then to stop. The rest is predictable - I was pushed up against a tree and raped.
I don't remember what happened afterwards although I recall walking back into town and taking up my drawing as if nothing bad had happened.
In the following weeks he still came and admired my drawings and said he was my secret boyfriend, but no more walks were suggested. I can't even remember how it stopped or fizzled out but it did.
I of course went on to have same age boyfriends, then a good marriage with children, etc, but have never forgotten that time.
My message to you is: if it feels wrong it IS wrong. I should have had the courage to stop this man from abusing me and also I should have told someone afterwards. Reasoning tells me that I was just a naive child and he was a very plausible man befriending and grooming me. I never even knew his surname although he told me his first name.
Hi, when i was 14 i was involved in an abusive relationship, its a long story, but basically he was extremely possessive, he made me lose all my friends at school, he forced me to do as he asked, like not talking to other boys just as friends, etc. i managed to get out of that relationship thankfully, and i went out after this relationship with my friends, and i ended up quite drunk, although i didnt realise quite how drunk i was, i got talking to this guy at the pub where i was and he bought me a couple of drink, althogh i did say i didnt want a drink, and next thing i knew i was being walked over to somewhere, i didnt know where i was going, it was all a bit of a blur, i remember him telling me to lay down, and being drunk i wasnt really aware of what was happening, i remember him pulling my leggings off, and then i honestly cant remember the next bit happening, after that i remember walking back to the pub and grabbing one of my closest friends and taking her to the toilets with me, my legs started stinging so i took off my leggings in the toilets to reveal blood stained legs, i later discovered cuts on my back, knees, feet and shoulders, i have always been so ashamed of this, but i wanted to tell somebody, and i think after 3 years, its time, i want to know whether this would be classed as rape or not, because i never said i wanted to, however, from what i remember, i didnt specifically say no either, soi dont really know where i stand, all i know is, this memory will haunt me forever and i am so ashamed
Thanks for your message. We're so sorry to hear what happened to you.
You were physically and sexually assaulted, so we think it is really important that even though this may have happened some time ago, that you should try to speak to someone about this if you can. Please understand that being forced or pressured to have sex when you don’t want to is rape, it is a crime and it should be reported. It wasn't your fault, there was nothing you could have done to prevent this, you should not feel guilty or ashamed.
Please also understand that drugs and alcohol are never the cause of rape or sexual assault. It is the attacker who is committing the crime not the drugs and/or alcohol. And someone doesn't have to say the word 'no' to withhold their permission, there are lots of ways they might say they don't want to do something or have sex. Click here for more information about consent - http://thisisabuse.direct.gov.uk/worried-about-abuse/view/rape-sexual-assult/consent
No matter how long ago please try and find someone you trust to talk to. It could be a teacher, a parent or other relative, a close friend, a youth worker or anyone else that you feel comfortable with. It doesn't have to be someone in authority, just someone that you think you can talk to and that you feel comfortable with and trust.
If they don't want to listen, keep trying until you find someone that does. You have the right to be safe and help and support is out there.
You can also call ChildLine on 0800 1111 to talk about any problem or go to www.childline.org.uk where you can contact ChildLine by email and text, chat to a counsellor online or post to the message boards.
You can also speak to the police. Most police forces have specially trained police officers to help people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. If you ever feel that you are in immediate danger, call the police on 999.
When I was about 14 I went to meet a friend of a friend who I got talking to over the internet. He seemed like a really nice genuine guy and a real gentleman. We decided to go for a walk around the local park on a sunday afternoon. I sat down on a bench with him as it was a nice sunny day and we were just chatting. He began to get close to me and started hugging and kissing me, I tried to move away a bit as I had only just met him and I didn't want to do that. We got back up for another walk around, however we walked to a part of the park where there were not many people around and grabbed my hand and lead me into some near bushes and trees. I was really nervous because I thought it was a bit dodgey but I didn't want to make a fuss incase it was nothing. He grabbed me and started kissing me again and touching my boobs. He tried to put his hands down my pants and I said that I didn't want him to, but he carried on and began touching me innapropriately. I then made the excuse that I was on my period thinking that it would stop him but he carried on and said that he didn't care. He then grabbed my hand and made me touch his penis. I kept pulling away and said I didn't want to do it but he kept pulling me back and I felt like I had to do it incase he attacked me as he was getting rather forceful. Afterwards he pushed me downwards and forced me to give him oral sex. He was strangely quiet throughout the whole thing and it didn't seem like he thought what he was doing was anything wrong. Even when I said I didn't want to, he didn't reply, he just carried on which made me even more scared. When it was over I made an excuse that I had to go and walked home really quickly. He kept texting me and calling me repeatedly in the next few days after it but I never replied to him and blocked him on the internet. I never told my mum or my close girl friends because I felt totally embarassed and ashamed of myself. I never spoke about it until I was 18 to my current boyfriend (I'm 20 now). It turned out that this guy was an aquaintence of my boyfriend so I've never told him the full story about what happened because I am ashamed, so I just told him that this person had come on to me once. At the time I blammed myself because I thought I hadn't quite made myself clear enough, but thinking back now I did say that I didn't want to do it and that should of been enough for him to stop. I don't think this incident had left me psychologically damaged but I do get anxious when I am on my own with men who I don't know very well. I mentioned this person to one of my friends once who also knew him, and she was very evasive and told me not to talk about him. I got the impression that he might of done the same thing to her. Although he didn't actually force sex on me I do think what he did to me was sexual assualt. I'm such a strong person now and I wish I was like that back then and maybe it wouldn't of happened. I wish I could of told my mum but I was scared of the consequences because she would of took me to the police and everything and I was too scared about what would happen and too ashamed of myself. Thinking back now I wish I had gone to the police and at least told my best friend, because men cannot just go around abusing women because we are a physically weaker.
It was more then sexual assault - the definition of rape is when a man forces his penis into the mouth, anus or vagina of another person when that person doesn't want him to do so; the law calls this 'without consent'.
Rape is a crime, and it should be reported. Don't blame yourself, you must understand that this was not your fault. There was nothing you could have done to prevent this. A lot of people who have experienced all kinds of abuse will blame themselves. However, the responsibility lies solely with the abuser, never with you. Please remember, you have nothing to feel ashamed or guilty about.
No matter how long ago this happened please try and find someone you trust to talk to. It could be a parent or other relative, a close friend or anyone else that you feel comfortable with. It doesn't have to be someone in authority, just someone that you think you can talk to and that you feel comfortable with and trust.
Alternatively you can call National Freephone Rape Crisis Helpline to talk to an advisor on 0808 802 9999, 7 days a week between 12pm – 2.30pm and 7pm – 9.30pm.
You can also speak to the police, remember that most police forces have specially trained police officers to help people who have been raped or sexually assaulted.