Photograph by Rachael Fritz. ©
All throughout our book we talk about healing. Each girl's story shows us the strength and resilience that teen girls and young women have. These are the strongest most righteous girls I know. In our book you will meet 13 different girls. You will know them through their experience and their healing. Lilly will show you how she became a super hero in her imagination enduring incest at the hands of her father for more than 8 years. Pearl will show you how telling saved her little sister. Ruby Rose teaches us that although once a prostitute, that is not your destiny. Iris shares how she did not even know her “bad date” was date rape until a year after, and then how she saves herself. All the girls in our book have found a way to get past their abuse and thrive. They all have agency and so do you. Any young girl, teen girl - young woman suffering sex abuse can come out of it, heal and thrive and have a beautiful life!
The first path to healing is to tell someone your truth. That could be calling a hotline and speaking to a stranger at first. Also expressing your truth is through writing, running, dancing, art, music. Express yourself- release the trauma. Whatever your age you are the right age to tell, tell until you can’t tell anymore. It won’t take away what happened to you, but it will re-map your life and take away the power from the abuse and the abuser. You are not alone- IT IS NEVER THE SURVIVORS FAULT!
All the men that have crossed my path have hurt me, invading the journey I was supposed to be on. I have been tampered with and washed up. I am clearing out a new path of healing now.
--by a 20-year-old rape survivor
In our book we go into detail on each of these subjects- Here are some pearls from that chapter:
Should You Report the Crime?
It is not necessarily the kind of telling that is important for your healing…. many girls who choose to report end up feeling violated all over again by the criminal justice system…. the legal route is not for everyone, only you can decide if it is right for you
Should You Confront Your Abuser?
The most important thing is that you confront, in your own mind, the truth that your abuser is the guilty party…… write a letter and burn it… take his photo and burn it… have a ceremony with friends and read what you would say to him ….I have worked with hundreds of girls who have healed without ever directly confronting their abusers directly.
Should You Forgive Your Abuser?
A well-intentioned therapist or clergy-person may tell you that in order to heal and move on you must forgive your abuser. I say NO. The only person you need to forgive for your healing is yourself…. it is almost always best to make a clean break, surround yourself with supportive people, express your emotions to people you can trust, and not worry about confrontation or forgiveness …. forgive yourself over and over and over again
Should You Go To Therapy?
You can talk to a teacher, a coach, someone else's parent, a relative… even though I am a therapist, I want to tell you that therapy is not the only way to heal. If you open up and find support and love you will find healing….
If you do go to therapy make sure you click-
1. Never allow yourself to be forced to talk about anything you're not ready for.
2. If the therapist tells you to put your abuse in the past and does not give you space to express- run don’t walk away .
3. The degree is not as important as the person and the caring she can have for you.
“Whatever your age, you are the right age to be coming out and telling your truth. Find someone to tell- and tell, tell, tell, until your lungs ache. Tell until you can't tell anymore. It won't take away what happened to you, but it will re-map your life and take away the power from the abuse and the abuser. You are strong and resilient. You are not alone.” Again, SEX ABUSE IS NEVER THE SURVIVORS FAULT. If you are on this site you are already on your healing journey!
You are your best resource -
but there are some organizations that may help you.
A wonderful legal resource for young women with free and sliding scale legal services founded by a young female attorney.
A wonderful site supporting women of all ages filled with great resources. This site is educational and opens up the world of feminism with power and strength and information.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is the nation's largest anti-sexual assault organization and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE. Comprised of more than 1,000 local affiliates, the hotline has helped more than half a million victims of sexual assault since 1994.
Sex Etc. has been around for the past fifteen years helping teens to navigate all issues of sexuality—interviews and content by the teens themselves. Launched in 1994 with the help of two health educators and a professional journalist, SEX, ETC. is a sexuality and health newsletter written by teens for teens.
A feminist magazine with an alternative twist looking at teen girls and fashion, films, personal essays, sexuality, abuse, and more
The mission of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault is to provide leadership in creating a society in which rape and sexual abuse are not tolerated and in which survivors receive appropriate support and intervention. This is accomplished by uniting organizations, influencing policy and through advocacy, education and research.
Self Esteem Shop is your number one source for mental health resources. A therapist looking for the latest Eliana Gil book? A divorced parent looking for something to get you through the hard times? Self Esteem Shop has what you're looking for.
SOAR (Speaking Out About Rape) runs national awareness, education and prevention programs to empower survivors of sexual violence and enhance the public's understanding and acceptance of rape victims.
The mission of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is to work to eliminate all forms of sexual violence and to advocate for the rights and needs of victims of sexual assault.
A comprehensive sex education site for teens covering everything from std's to sexual abuse. Scarleteen is owned by Scarlet Letters, an adult women's sexuality journal.