TeenHealthFX does not think what happened to you is “weird.” While we do think that it is a tragedy that rape occurs, and we absolutely feel for you with this terrible experience you went through, we don’t think that there is anything so strange about your story that we would not want to post it. Males often feel reluctant to share experiences of domestic violence or rape because they associate these things as happening to women only. But FX wants to assure you that you are not alone in your experience. According to RAINN’s website, females are raped more frequently than males – about 1 in 6. But 1 in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That is no small number.
FX thinks that it is very important for you to tell your parents (or at least a school counselor who can intervene on your behalf) about what happened for the following reasons:
1. The first is so that a report can be made with your local police. It is important that this person is brought to justice because of what he did to you – and it is also important that the police do whatever they can to find this individual before he sexually assaults anyone else.
2. Second, it would be very helpful for you to meet with a mental health professional trained in working with victims of rape. Many powerful feelings can come up for a person after going through such a traumatic experience as being raped. It is important for you to have a safe and private place to work through any negative feelings you may have about what happened to you.
3. Finally, if a rapist has any kind of STD, including HIV/AIDS, it is possible for him/her to pass it onto his/her victim. FX thinks it is very important for you to meet with your doctor as soon as possible so that he can assess whether any STDs might have been transmitted. FX appreciates how frightening this might feel to you – to think that an STD might have been transmitted. What we want to say is try not to get too worried about it until you have had a chance to speak to your doctor. While it is possible that an STD was transmitted, it is also completely and absolutely possible that you are STD-free. A visit to your doctor would also be helpful so that he/she could examine you to see if there are any marks, bruises, or tears that occurred as a result of the rape that can be reported to your local police as evidence against your perpetrator.
Again, FX is incredibly sorry you went through such a terrible experience. But please don’t keep this to yourself – it is very important for you to reach out to your parents, as well as trained mental health and healthcare professionals, so that you can get the support, help, and treatment you need.
· You can contact the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), 24 hours, 7days a week for help and information. You can search for a local counseling center on their website or use their online hotline.
· If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.
· If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.