Was I Sexually Abused?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I don’t know if I was sexually abused, but it’s really troubling me. A few months back I was in turkey. I went on a ride on a man’s motorbike (my parents new him, they said it was okay). When we was on his motorbike, he kept running his hand up my leg. He asked me how old I was and I said I was 12. He told me he was 26. It was around 2 in the morning and I was now scared. He was getting faster and faster, futher away from the place my parents were. He kept talking about random stuff. Then he told me to put my arms around his waist. He seemed nice about it though. It was now at least 40 minutes away from the place.. I told him I better get back. He stopped the motorbike and I started to panic. He said “Kiss me.” I didn’t know what to say. I’m extremely shy, I didn’t say no… but I didn’t say yes. I don’t know what I did. I did the sort of awkward laugh you do… and before I knew it his tounge was down my throat… not to forget his hand was almost completely up my skirt.. I’m too shy to say anything about it but I felt like running away and crying. He said “We should go for a walk around the park” or something, and I didnt want to. He got off the motorbike and almost shoved me off too, but I said I needed to get back and it took some “NO!”ing to get him to get back on. He did and half an hour later we got back to my parents.

The next day was a blurr. I didnt eat or drink, I literally slept all day. My parents kept asking me what was wrong but I was too ashamed to say. They got it out of me later, though, I told them nothing more happened than what I’ve told you. Not the detail, just he kissed me on the lips. My best friend knows all the details. I slept round her house one night and told her everything… I couldn’t help but cry. I feel like I’m totally over reacting and it isn’t important. But I dunno.. everytime I think about it I want to scrub my body until it bleeds. I feel dirty and disgusting still. Was I sexually abused? Am I over reacting? PLEASE help. Its been driving me crazy for months…

A. You are not overreacting. You were sexually assaulted. Technically, you and your family may be able to file charges against the perpetrator and he could be (and should be) arrested. That may be difficult because he lives in Turkey. The police may know whether or not he could be charged with a crime that occurred when you were in another country.

This is obviously bothering you. I would strongly advise you to disclose the detailed truth to your parents. If you are embarrassed to tell them exactly what happened then write it in a letter or print out the letter you wrote me and give it to them. The primary reason you should tell your parents is because they may be able to connect you with a counselor that is knowledgeable about sexual trauma. This ordeal profoundly impacted you. You cannot stop thinking about it since it happened. You need to work with a counselor so you can address the trauma.

Going to your parents and disclosing the truth is the only correct action to take in this situation. It will be difficult. It may even be uncomfortable and unpleasant but it needs to be done. Please go to your parents immediately.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Dec 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). Was I Sexually Abused?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/12/22/was-i-sexually-abused-2/