If you were assaulted, remember that it is not your fault and the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center can help you move forward.
We at the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center know that teens can also be victims of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is something that can change an individual’s life; however, there is help and no matter when the abuse happened, we help teens who have survived unwanted sexual experiences move forward.
Here are some common effects of sexual assault in teenagers:
- A sense of Loss of Control - One or more people have done things to you against your will, so you believe there is no point in trying to control anything in your world.
- Questions about Sexual Identity - Sexual assault may have caused you to feel that sexuality is bad, and maybe you feel ashamed of your body.
- Personality changes - Outbursts of anger, people are asking why you are suddenly so moody or withdrawn because you're frightened that people can "see" what happened to you, and you want to make yourself "invisible." You may feel depressed - or you may actually be experiencing depression.
- Lowered School performance - Perhaps the sexual assaults are playing on your mind and emotions so much that you have trouble concentrating.
- Withdrawal from school or social activities - Perhaps you were outgoing, but now shut yourself in your room. Your friends wonder why they can't talk to you. You're in trouble a lot for truancy. You’re afraid the whole school knows.
- Extremely sexually active - Because of the traumatic experience your views on your self-worth may change. Sex can be the way to fill that void, be the attention you want from others, acceptance, or maybe feel like the love that you lack or want.
- Drug and Alcohol abuse - Perhaps you feel distanced from the pain in your life when you've used drugs or alcohol.
- Eating Disorders - Starving yourself, overeating and excessive weight-gain may be a way of trying to protect yourself from being sexually assaulted again.
- Risk-taking and other self-destructive behavior - You may believe your life is of little value, and so you do things that you know are very risky, such as driving with drunk people, taking drugs, or placing yourself in situations where you may be sexually assaulted again. You may self-injure as a way of punishing yourself, or because the physical pain helps dull the emotional pain. Maybe you have sex without protection from STDs and pregnancy.
- Alienation - Maybe you feel that the dark secrets you keep are things that nobody else could ever understand. You feel completely alone.
- Super-achieving and trying to be "Good enough" - Straining to achieve and be perfect may be a way that you try to hide your inner sense of shame from the world.
- A sense of loss of personal integrity - You may feel worthless and ashamed of being you. People have done things to you and said things to you that made you feel bad so you "act" bad.
For more Questions and Answers visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.