This page contains many of our fears, and some honest answers to them.  

When I was 12, and being hurt, I experienced many of the fears listed below. Here is some truth- finally...


If I tell, I will end up in a foster home.

This depends on who is hurting you.  If it is someone who lives in your house, the police will probably put you someplace else until they are sure whoever is hurting you will not or cannot do it anymore. If it is someone outside of the family, you may be put someplace for a little while until everyone is sure your home is safe.


If I tell, I will have to go to a councilor.

This is true. But you can find one that you like, and feel safe talking to. What was done to you is wrong, and it is too much for anyone to handle by themselves. A good therapist or councilor can help you get over this more quickly. The pain you are in will not go away by itself. It fades, and sometimes gets hidden, but it never goes away until you can talk about it with someone safe.

If I tell, I will have to testify in court in front of him.

 Maybe. But not for a long time- maybe even months. You may never have to. Depending on the laws where you live, and what else happens, you may never have to go to court. You most likely will have to talk to the police. They will be able to tell you what to expect, and they will help you get through it. The best part here is that you will not be alone. Even if you do end up in court, you will have tons of people around you keeping you safe, and supporting you


If I tell, my life will never get back to normal.

This can also be true- but ignoring it won't make your life normal either. We can try pretend everything is OK, but it isn't.  Once we are abused, everything changes. Talking about it does not automatically fix it, but it does make it better. With help we can heal this pain, and get through it. Most important, once we tell and get help, it stops happening. So long as it keeps happening, our life can never be normal.


If I tell, everyone will know about this.

This is not true. Some people may find out, but usually most never know. But the fear is understandable. Sometimes it all seems so horrible, so shameful that we just don't want anyone to know. But we are innocent! The shame we feel belongs to the person who hurt us. If we tell, people who truly care about us, and love us will hug us, hold us and cry with us over this pain.


If I tell, the other kids will laugh at me.

There are no lies on this page. This could happen, but is not likely. Most of the time, the police and everyone else do their best to make sure other kids do not find out. If kids do find out, and tease you about it- talk to a trusted adult. You have already gotten through so much. You can make it through this as well.


It only happened once- if I just forget it, it will be much easier.

This is false. It may seem easier to just forget it, but you never will. Not really. When things remind you of what happened, you will be scared, and sad all over again. Even worse, unless it was a stranger you you will never see again, it almost definitely will happen again. It will not stop until you tell. Every time it happens, and you don't tell, he will want to do it again- even sooner.   


If I tell, people will think it is my fault

This is an understandable fear, but it isn't true. Most adults will see you are innocent, and will believe you. But there are no lies on this page- Sometimes, adults can make mistakes too. If you tell, it is really important to tell someone who does not know or like the person who is hurting you. It can be really hard for people to believe that someone they love could hurt someone else so bad.

 

But if I started it, or did something, it makes it my fault- right?

No!

No matter how old you are, what you think you did, it is always up to the adult to say NO. It is completely normal to have a crush on an adult- Maybe a teacher seems really awesome. Maybe a coach. But no matter what you did, the adult should have said No. No matter why you went to the person- it is still their fault.

But I am a boy- If I had sex with someone it must have been my fault.

Not true! Your body will respond to touch- sometimes even when you do not want it to. Having your private parts do something doesn't mean you want it, and it doesn't mean it is your fault. Being forced to have sex with someone is not getting lucky!- It is just another type of rape. Even if you went to this person because you were attracted to them, it is still their fault. An adult should always say no when approached by a child. Always!!!


My family can't handle this. If I tell, it will wreck everything.

This is an understandable belief. But the truth is that you cannot protect your family. The adults in your house are supposed to protect you, and protect the rest of your family. They didn't. If you tell, they will get a chance to try and help you heal from this. But it is up to them. You cannot protect your family by yourself. 

 

I liked it at first- I can't tell. Everyone will think I am gross.

This is not true. Touch is supposed to feel good- even when we don't want to be touched. It is ok to like some of the feelings even if you hate it at the same time. But it is still his fault. An adult should never touch a child in ways that make you feel funny.


I didn't fight back, it's my fault.

This is not true. Sometimes, we don't fight back because we are scared. Sometimes we don't fight because we are surprised, and because we trust the person doing it. Sometimes we think it is just a game, and don't know what is really happening at first. Whatever our truth is, it is still his fault.


I will be abused in a foster home.

You are being abused now. The state does everything it can to find safe people to foster kids. If you are hurt in a foster home- tell. Most foster homes are safe. 

I am old enough to know better.

False. No one is ever old enough to know better. Whether you were 2 or 18 the first time doesn't matter. Until it actually happens, no one can ever imagine it actually happening to them. Being abused only happens to people on TV- at least until it happens to us. No one is ever old enough or wise enough to know better.


I will be safe if I fight back next time.

You may be killed if you fight back. You will probably be hurt worse. The only way to really be safe is to tell someone trustworthy.

I will be safe if I run away from home.

There is no safety in running away. As bad as things are at home, they can get worse on your own. If you tell, you can be put somewhere safer, and have trustworthy people nearby.

I will be safe if I just pretend it didn't happen

Unless you tell, it will keep happening until he kills you, he gets caught, or you get old enough to escape.


He will leave my brothers and/or sisters alone if I let him keep doing it.

No- He is probably hurting them already. Even if he isn't, it hurts almost as much to watch someone you love be hurt, but not be able to stop it. Other people in your family may know, but are too afraid to do anything. Telling is the only way to protect everyone.


My mother needs the money he provides- we will starve if I tell.

Let the adults worry about the money. The state has a lot of programs that can help people with children. If your mother really needs the money, there are a lot of ways for her to get help. If your mother really loves you, she would much rather work 4 jobs than have some person hurt her child.


He paid me for it. He gave me gifts. I cannot tell.

No. He tricked you into taking a gift for something he already stole from you. If he hurt you, and then gave you money to stay quiet- that is not payment. It is his way of making you feel guilty so you won't tell. Even if he gave you the gift ahead of time- it is still the same thing. He is trying to make you feel guilty so you won't tell. He is guilty.


My body made him do it. If gain weight, stay dirty, and make myself ugly- I will be safe.

No. He is hurting you because you are available. He doesn't love you, and he doesn't care what you look like. Once he does it the first time, he will keep coming back. Worse, if you try to make yourself look fat or dirty, kids at school will probably tease you for it. 


I will be safe if I just stay away from him.

No. Once he knows you won't tell on him, he will come looking for you. He will show up in places where you never expect him.


He gave me drugs or alcohol- I don't even know what happened. I can't tell.

He gave you drugs so you wouldn't remember. That was his plan. It was not an accident. But even if you don't remember what happened, your body does. If he stuck something in you, you will know. You can feel it long after the drugs wear away. If you tell, you will be safe.


It is not abuse, he was just punishing me for something I did.

Wrong. Punishment is being sent to your room. He wants to abuse you, and will find any excuse to "punish" you with it. Nothing you can ever do is bad enough to deserve sexual abuse.  If you tell, you will be protected.