I have this guy who lives in la and I don’t know how he got my number but he continues to text and harass me and ask me for nude photos. Can I report him to the police? Also I feel I will never have a boyfriend and get married because when I was a freshmen in high school I was raped. I also feel like I deserve to be bullied because it happens so often. Is that the case? I have thought of suicide twice in the past and of cutting but did not do it. I’ve been through a lot and it just gets hard, ya know?
Letter submitted by:
I am so glad you wrote to me. Reaching out for help shows so much strength and maturity on your part. Absolutely no one deserves to be bullied or abused. I understand how, after years of abuse, you might start to believe otherwise, but please hear me when I say that is not true. Your life is precious and equal to everyone else’s. You deserve just as much respect, compassion and love as any one else in the world regardless of age, gender, sexuality, and past or present circumstances. It sounds like you have been through an overwhelming amount and I absolutely understand your sentiment that life can be extremely hard and unfair.
I am so sorry to hear that you were raped your freshman year of high-school. That is something no one deserves or should ever have to go through. Again, I applaud you for reaching out to the Trevor Project to confide such a painful part of your past. That just goes to show the tremendous amount of strength you have within you. Rape, sexual abuse and harassment can have a devastating effect on your psychological, emotional and physical state. It can not only effect your trust in other people, but also your sense of self-worth. The loss of control and the trauma of being abused sexually can affect your self-esteem and the way you view intimate relationships. The fears and doubts that you have expressed about never having a boyfriend because you were raped are a sign of that trauma. They are not true. You can and deserve to have any and every type of relationship in your life that you want, especially a loving and romantic one. What happened to you was not your fault and does not define your future or who you are as a person.
You deserve to be protected and safe at all times in life. No one has the right to sexually harass you not only in person but also through the phone or internet. It is not okay for someone to be harassing you through text messages and asking you for explicit photos. If you are feeling threatened or harassed you should absolutely go to the police. Sexual harassment is horribly upsetting and unacceptable no matter where it is coming from. Remember, it is not your fault and you deserve to feel safe. If there is a trusted adult, parent, or friend that you can confide in about this I urge you to do so. This is not something you should have to face alone.
I am so glad you have stopped yourself from cutting in the past. Sexual abuse can lead to symptoms of depression such as feeling sad for weeks on end, changes in appetite, losing interest in activities you normally enjoy, and even recurring thoughts of self-harm and suicide. There are many treatments for depression including therapy and medication. It may help to speak with a professional such as a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist about any sexual abuse or bullying you have experienced as well as thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Again, if there is a trusted adult, parent or friend you feel you can talk to, please do so immediately if you are having suicidal thoughts. If there is no one you feel comfortable talking with, you can always, always call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor, 24 hours 7 days a week to speak with someone immediately. We are always here for you and care deeply about your well-being and happiness.
For more information on ways to cope with sexual harassment and abuse you can also visit RAINN, the Rape, Assault National Network. By visiting their website at http://www.rainn.org/ you can learn about the effects of sexual abuse and ways to recover and find help. You can also call their National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE. Remember that you are not alone and that you can always reach out to us here at The Trevor Project if you have any other questions or just need someone to talk to. Again, thank you so much for writing to me. I am proud of you.