When Jennifer was eight, her teenaged babysitter watched X-rated videos while she was in the room. When Jennifer would try to leave the room, the babysitter would talk her into staying and watching. She told her not to tell her parents because it was their "little secret".
From the time she was five until she was thirteen, Amy's father came to her room at night while she was sleeping and fondled her. Amy used to feel frightened and pretended she was still sleeping, in hopes that he would go away. She wished she could tell her mom, but she was afraid her mom would divorce her dad if she knew.
Steve's soccer coach coerced him into "trying" oral sex during private coaching sessions. He threatened to kick him off the team if he didn't cooperate, and said no one would ever believe him if he reported what was happening.
Susan's brother used to put his hand down her pants when her parents were in the other room, and put his other hand over her mouth if she tried to scream.
Sadly, sexual abuse is an all too common experience for many children and teens. Although some abuse is reported, most is not, and many abused children grow up with a secret they believe is too awful to tell. Perhaps you've experienced abuse, or have experienced something you suspect was abuse. Maybe you have a friend who was abused and you want to know how to help.
The first step in helping yourself or someone else, is to learn the facts about sexual abuse. We've put together this resource area to help get you started.