I Was Raped By Someone I Don't Know

Published: September 06, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I was raped by someone I don't know. He pulled me into his car and I kept telling him that I didn't want to do things but he kept going. I told him I was uncomfortable and he said that was cute. I'm really scared, I don't know what to do. Please help me.
Signed: I Was Raped By Someone I Don't Know

Dear I Was Raped By Someone I Don't Know,

TeenHealthFX can appreciate what a frightening experience this must have been for you. We absolutely understand that you would still be feeling scared and at a loss of what to do. So here are some suggestions about where to go from her:

TeenHealthFX strongly recommends that you tell your parents what happened right away. Not only will you then have their support, they can also help you as you reach out for professional help with what happened. It is important that you do not go through this process or endure feelings of pain and fear alone. It is also important that you have someone guiding you through the process of getting help, which could easily feel overwhelming to you right now.

You and your parents have a few options as to where to start. You could meet (right away) with your primary care physician, gynecologist or adolescent medicine specialist. That person can provide you with the medical attention you need, as well as refer you to a reputable mental health professional (such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist) with experience in working with rape victims.

Your parents could also help you in calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673). You’ll be connected to a trained staff member from a local sexual assault service provider in your area. They will direct you to the appropriate local health facility that can care for survivors of sexual assault. You can also click here to find a local RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) affiliate or use the RAINN Online Hotline for confidential, one-on-one, crisis support 24/7. You can chat with a trained staff member who will provide you with information and referrals through a secure instant-messaging format, or simply offer a safe place to talk about what happened.

If you are having trouble communicating what happened to your parents, then start by either reaching out to the Hotline or online chat information listed above. Communicating with professionals who are trained in dealing with survivors of rape could help you feel more ready and able to tell your parents about what happened. Or you could also tell your school nurse or school counselor what happened so that he/she could help you tell your parents about the rape.

FX also suggests you take a look at the RAINN website, including information on what to do after a sexual assault. We would like to remind you that what happened was not your fault. And there was certainly nothing “cute” about your being so scared and forced to have sex against your will. The person who did this to you is a troubled individual and a criminal – you are not to blame. FX would also like you to know that you may have different thoughts and feelings come up for you around what happened and this will probably happen for some time. This is perfectly normal given what you have been through. The most important thing is that you have support and guidance from trustworthy, caring adults. So please talk to your parents and reach out from professionals who can help you with this.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 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.

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.

Signed: TeenHealthFX