Who can I turn to if I am a survivor of sexual abuse?
Sexual violence is a reality that affects more and more people. Worldwide, the numbers of women, men, girls, and boys who suffer from this type of abuse are increasingly high and most of the time create traumas that are difficult to overcome. If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, do you know where to ask for help?
Whatever your age and wherever you are, there are many organizations that can help you as a victim of sexual abuse.
Remember that, if you suffered an abusive situation recently or in childhood, it is important for you to know that it was not your fault, that you are not alone and that you can ask for help. In the world there are many organizations and movements willing to help you.
In the #YoDigoNoMas movement, we offer you a platform to tell your experience and receive the professional help you need to heal emotionally and move forward.
How can I identify if I was a victim of sexual abuse?
Sexual violence is any act of a sexual nature that is carried out against your will, either using force, under some form of threat, or through intimidation or coercion.
An act of sexual abuse can occur in any of the following situations:
- Rape, including marital rape.
- Sexual assault or abuse.
- Sexual harassment.
- Forced nudity.
- Inappropriate touching.
- Forced prostitution.
- Sexual slavery.
- Forced witnessing or perpetration.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 5 girls in the world has suffered some type of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Likewise, in the case of men, 1 out of every 13 has experienced an episode of this type.
Anyone can suffer from these types of lewd acts, regardless of gender, age or other factors. Even if the people who did this to you are your family, your spouse or someone you trust, it is not your fault.
Where can I go for help as a survivor of sexual abuse?
The first and most important piece of advice when you are a survivor of sexual abuse is not to keep quiet. Remember that silence only benefits the abuser and immerses you even more in that feeling of guilt which is totally wrong.
Reporting is the first thing you should do, no matter at what age the event occurred. Even if you were a victim of sexual abuse during your childhood and years have passed, it is important that you report it, seek professional help and talk about what happened so that you can begin to heal from this type of trauma.
In the United States, for example, there are telephone lines through which you can receive emotional support or report a possible case of sexual abuse, if you wish. These lines are as follows:
- The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC): 1-800-843-5678 (press 5 for Spanish)
- Lines for the hearing impaired: 1-800-826-7653
- Lines Stop it Now: 1-888-PREVENT (888-773-2362).
- Childhelp: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (800-422-4453).
Please note that the call to any of these means is completely free, and through them you can ask any kind of question you have and report a case of abuse to get help.
Are you a survivor of sexual abuse? You are not alone
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse, it is important for you to know that you are not alone.
There are many people who have been victims of a similar act, but who have also managed to move forward and heal the emotional pain of such events, through communication and the help of professionals.
In the #YoDigoNoMas movement you can find the necessary guidance to leave these facts behind and start a new life. Tell us your story and receive all the help and advice you need. Be part of the change and join this movement of people that day by day we continue the fight against child sexual abuse.