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sexual assault?

So, I have this friend (although I guess they aren't really my friend anymore) and they're also friends with some of my close friends. I went to a sleepover about a year ago, and they were invited. When they thought I was asleep they groped me for a rather extended amount of time, and I'm pretty sure they would have done more if they had been able to. I feel pretty horrible about myself, and I feel like it's my fault because I didn't do or say anything and just froze. I don't want my whole school to end up finding out about what happened, and I'm just too scared to tell any of our mutual friends for fear of isolating him, I'd feel so guilty. Could what he did be considered sexual assault? It's probably a really dumb question but I just can't get it out of my head.

Re: sexual assault?

Hi @WaffleLover23, thanks for sharing that with us all. It must have been very hard for you. I am sorry that you have had this experience and it has made you feel horrible about yourself. It definitely isn't your fault - freezing can be a very common response. The bottom line is that this person did not have consent to touch you and so it is definitely classed as an unwanted sexual advance. It is not okay. We actually have an article here on sexual assault which you may find helpful. If you type in the search bar, other users have also shared their experience. Is there anyone that you think you can talk to this about? I think it is always important to let a trusted adult know, like a counselor, teacher or parent. It is scary and upsetting to let people know.. although this way you are able to receive support. You don't have to do this alone. We are here to listen Heart

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Re: sexual assault?

hi @WaffleLover23 and welcome
i dont have much to add to what @Taylor-RO has already said but i really want to put across that it definently wasnt your fault. 1800respect has a website and a helpline that you can remain anonymous with along with KHL for some support for yourself as well. please dont be afraid to reach out for that support
**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**

Re: sexual assault?

@WaffleLover23 it's not a dumb question. 

I don't know if what happened counts as sexual assault or sexual harassment or something else entirely. But whatever it was, it was completely inappropriate, and definitely not your fault. Being touched like that without consent must have been horrible, and I'm so sorry you had to experience it. 

 

 

Again, this was not your fault. Freezing is a really common and involuntary reaction to fear.

When people are in an incredibly stressful situation like the one you were in, their reaction will either be flight fight or freeze. You often can't choose which one it will be.

 

He chose to touch you like that. He is responsible for his own decisions and for their consequences. It was not your fault. 

It's also not your responsibility to protect him from his actions, and you shouldn't be forced to keep his secrets. You did nothing wrong here.

If he does get isolated, he will learn (hopefully) that what he did was completely inappropriate.

 

This has (understandably) had a really big impact on you. It might be a good idea to take some time to look after yourself, or use some of the self care ideas from the forums.

 

Anyway I hope that this helped in some way, and that everything goes well.

And welcome to the forums!