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You have a right to safety, respect, and a life free of harm from others.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen and lives are affected by the experience of abuse, including sexual abuse.
If you have experienced sexual abuse, the first thing to know is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Kids Helpline counsellors talk to a lot of young people who have been abused and are here to listen and to help.
What is sexual abuse? Sexual abuse happens when someone uses your body or their own in a sexual way when you don’t agree to it or when you were too young to make a choice.
The main thing to know about all of these is that NONE ARE OK.
If you have been abused you are likely to be experiencing a lot of different feelings, such as shock, confusion, shame, anger or fear. Sometimes, people who have been abused can even blame themselves for what happened. These feelings can make it very difficult to talk about what’s been going on.
You may also feel confused as abusers are often people you know. In fact, you may have known them for a long time, like them and used to trust them. This makes it especially difficult to tell someone about the abuse, particularly if you feel people may not believe that this person could do something like that.
If something like this has happened to you, you may not be sure whether it was sexual abuse. If any of the below things happened to you as well, then it’s a good idea to talk to an adult you trust.
There are a number of ways abusers try to make sure you don’t tell anyone about what they have done, including:
If the person is making you keep what they are doing a secret, they probably know that if no one knows, they won’t be stopped, and in fact, may try to do it again.
If you have experienced sexual abuse or you have any doubts or concerns about any sexual experience, then it’s important to talk to a trusted adult and/or counsellor. Kids Helpline counsellors can offer you a safe place to tell your story at your own pace, will listen, believe you and offer support and help to keep you safe.
Remember, your body is yours:
If you are being, or have been sexually abused:
There are no references in this article.
Last Reviewed October 2015