Just for Teens
If you are a teen who has or is now experiencing incest or some other form of sexual abuse, know that you are not alone. Incest can cause a lot of traumatic feelings and problems, and you may be feeling self blame, depression, anxiety, flashbacks of the abuse, or be in denial of what has happened. Know that many others have been in your shoes, and you didn’t deserve the abuse. There are many people and organizations who want to help you.
If you are currently being abused, or you know of another youth who is, it’s really important to tell someone right away. There are people who can and will help survivors get to a safe place.
Not sure who to tell? We recommend talking to a safe adult whom you know you can trust. If you don’t have a trusted adult you feel you can turn to, please call the 24 hour RAINN hotline at 1.800.656.4673, and they can guide you. If you’re uncomfortable talking to a person, you can use their online hotline or their mobile app. (You can also find help and resources at NOMORE.) Talking to a therapist about your experience can be really helpful and help you sort through your feelings. You can get more information about finding a counselor by calling the RAINN hotline.
Even if the abuse is no longer happening, you may still be hurting and having trouble with school, at home, with friends, or with your mental health, which incest survivors commonly experience. Finding friends who believe and support you, have your back, and will listen to you when you need it is super helpful, especially if your family isn’t supportive. The organization SAYSN has a whole bunch of helpful resources and ways to connect to other young survivors in a virtual space.
Sometimes reading about sexual abuse and the stories of others who have survived it will help you get more knowledgeable and recognize that you’re not alone. You might read “I am a Kid and Something Happened” or one of these books as a starting point.
Here are some other links that might help you or someone you know who is struggling with abuse:
BLOOM365: Youth experiencing incest often struggle with relationships with their peers, families, and adults. BLOOM365 is a resource for students seeking to enhance their confidence, skills, and knowledge to grow safe and healthy relationships.
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: For those seeking direction on reporting incest, this organization’s Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline can help. Serving the U.S. and Canada, the hotline is staffed 24 hours a day with professional crisis counselors who - through interpreters - provide assistance in over 170 languages. The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources. All calls are confidential.
After Silence: While not specifically for teens, their message boards are a great resource to remember that you aren’t alone and to give you support when you need someone to help.
Remember that you did nothing wrong and that the abuse is not your fault. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help when you need it. Be gentle with yourself and remember to practice self-care, which is doing things for yourself that make you happy, feel safe, and feel calm. Know that you will thrive, and that many do care what you have been through and want to help.
"Healing is a process that doesn’t have a time frame. Don’t rush your healing. Advocating and spreading awareness through my YouTube channel is one way that I heal."
- Ja'Nay Chew