TeenHealthFX is very concerned with what is going on with you on a number of levels. Between the rape, being beaten up by this guy, having to continue to see this guy daily, being hit at home – there is a lot we are worried about. To start, we definitely think you should meet with a medical health provider so that you can be tested to see if you are pregnant, tested to see if you have any STDs, and to determine whether or not you require any treatment from the physical violence inflicted up on (FX is especially concerned about your head being hit against the wall and that you are now experiencing confusion and dizziness). FX is not sure how long ago this occurred, but we also recommends that you speak to your doctor about a having a rape kit done.
· 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. You can also contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood, or call your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.
· If you need to find a free pregnancy testing center, you can call 866-942-6466.
· If you are pregnant, since this would be an unplanned pregnancy, you can call 1-800-672-2296.
· If you are pregnant, but have no medical insurance, you can call 1-800-450-0183.
· In the event you are pregnant, you can also get more information on options and various resources through the American Pregnancy Association.
As for this issue with your virginity, FX thinks it would be absolutely fine for you to consider yourself a virgin and for you to continue with the idea that you are saving yourself for marriage. You have never made the choice to be sexually active with someone and can continue to make that choice for as long as you like. It would be fine for you to not look at this rape as losing your virginity, but to look at the first time you willing have sex with another person as that moment.
FX appreciates from what you wrote that the issues or pregnancy and virginity are what you are thinking about the most right now. However, FX would like to point out that while it is certainly important that you receive adequate medical care following such an experience, we think it is extremely important for you to have emotional support with this as well. FX can appreciate your reluctance to tell anyone or seek out help from a mental health professional, but we think it is critical that you do so. Being raped, brutally beaten, and to have it all done by someone you know is a truly horrible thing to go through. To keep this a secret, to not pursue any legal action against this person and continue to face him everyday, to go it all alone – FX is very concerned about the effect this will have on your emotions in the long run. We strongly encourage you to rethink your position on seeking out help for yourself. There are people and agencies that specialize in dealing with exactly these types of incidents – so please consider reaching out to someone.
In addition, FX does see positives of your holding this guy accountable for what he did. For one thing, he needs help so that he does not do this again. If he doesn’t have to face any negative consequences, he will continue to rape. He needs to be stopped and he needs professional treatment. Secondly, FX thinks that it is important for you to feel like there was some kind of justice for what happened to you. It may be very painful now – or it may feel painful one day when you reflect back to what happened to you – to think that someone was so brutally cruel to you and got away with it. You deserve better than to have this person do this to you and then to not have consequences.
Emotional Health Resources:
· 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.
· Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), 24 hours, 7days a week.
· If you live in New Jersey you can contact JBWS (Jersey Battered Women’s Services) at 973-267-4763. This phone number is a 24 hour confidential helpline. Outside of NJ you can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) – 1-800-787-3224 (TTY line for deaf callers) – 24 hours, 7days a week.
The last thing FX is concerned about is your comment that you get hit a lot at home. If you are being physically abused at home it is important for you to talk to a trusted adult about this so that someone can intervene on your behalf. If you have been getting hit for a long time at home, FX can appreciate that there is probably a distrust of adults and skepticism about an adult’s ability to be caring or helpful. FX can also imagine that you may have gotten used to the idea of having to take care of yourself and deal with things on your own if you’ve been living in an abusive situation. But it does not have to be this way and there are adults out there who do care and will want to do whatever they can to help you. Whether you speak to a teacher, school counselor, therapist, or call child protective services yourself, please notify someone as soon as possible as about the hitting that is going on at home. You should not have to endure being hit at home, and you should not have to endure this most recent experience all on your own. Again, please seek help from those around you.
· If you live in New Jersey you can call DYFS at 1-800-NJ-ABUSE to report any abuse occurring at home.
· Outside of NJ you can contact the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-792-8610, 24 hours, 7days a week. This hotline is for reporting physical or sexual abuse and to get help.
Know that FX cares about what happens to you and hopes you make decisions that reflect care for yourself as you go from here.