Sexual Abuse or Assault (Rape) (cont.)
Reduce your chance for sexual abuse or assault:
- When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, watch out for each other, and leave together.
- Do not leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Do not allow yourself to be alone with someone you do not know or trust. Do not get a ride from someone you do not know.
- Think about how intimate you want to be in a relationship, and clearly state your limits.
Reduce the chance of your child being sexually abused or assaulted:
- Teach your children that it is against the "rules" for adults to act in a sexual way with children. Use examples.
- Teach your children that it is okay to say no and that it is okay to leave the situation if they are uncomfortable.
- Teach your children that their bodies are their own and that it is okay if they do not want a hug or other contact that might make them uncomfortable.
- Speak to your children about using the proper names for their body parts. Informed children are better able to talk to you about someone acting in a sexual way with them.
Organizations such as Planned Parenthood can help you learn more about reducing your chances of being a victim. Contact Planned Parenthood toll-free at 1-800-230-PLAN (1-800-230-7526) or online at www.plannedparenthood.org.
Preparing For Your Appointment
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
If you have made an appointment with your health professional, you may be able to get the most from your visit by being prepared to answer the following questions:
- Has anyone forced you to have sexual activities?
- Has the sexual abuse increased recently? When was the last forced sexual contact?
- Has a child, family member, or friend been forced to have sexual activities? When did it occur? What action was taken?
- Has the abuser threatened violence against your children or other people? Is he or she violent toward your children?
- Is the person who harmed you using any illegal drugs or alcohol?
- Does the person who harmed you have access to guns or other violent weapons?
- Do you have any risk factors that increase your chance of becoming a victim of sexual abuse or assault?