Sexual abuse involves any unwanted sexual activity which can, but does not always, include touching. This can involve any unwanted touching of a private area, forced to have sex, and being forced to touch someone else in a sexual manner. In addition to this, it includes being forced to look at a naked person, picture, video, or any media shown in a sexual manner. It can also be used to demonstrate power or authority. If you have been sexually abused, it is important to know it is not your fault. Whether it has happened recently or in the past, help is always available to you. If this has happened recently, please get medical help. Many hospitals provide care for sexual assault. You can receive medicine and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
No one deserves sexual abuse and it is a crime. If you wish, the hospital can collect evidence of the assault using a “rape kit,” in case you want to talk to the police. It is up to you, if you would like to press charges or not. It is never the victim’s fault, and no one has the right to make someone do something that they don’t want to. It can happen to anyone, at any age and any time. Any reaction you experience is normal and there is no right or wrong way to react to it.
The important thing is for you to begin the process of healing and recovery. If the person abusing you is still around and you are still in danger of being abused, the first step is to file criminal charges with the police so that you can get out of the dangerous situation. The second step is to find someone you trust, preferably a safe adult. This can be your parent, murabbi, or teacher. Start by taking your time to talk about what has happened, at your own pace. This can be a very hard subject to open up about. These two steps are the hardest and take an enormous amount of courage.
After taking these initial steps, you can then begin your journey towards healing. You can start by offering Salat and venting out your feelings to God Almighty, and seeking His mercy, love, and strength to heal. This is especially possible in Sajdah where, after reciting the Arabic portion, you can pray to God in your own language so that you are able to best express yourself. This will allow you to get your thoughts out if you are having a hard day, as well as achieve peace of mind.
It is also very important to be patient with yourself, since healing takes time and some days may be harder than others. It is important to recognize any feelings of depression that may occur after this abuse. This is completely normal; however, it may be time to go seek professional help if it is causing you to have feelings of depression and anxiety. If you are feeling suicidal, it is important to reach out to someone you trust. If you find talking to a loved one too difficult, call/text your local crisis line. If you require immediate assistance, go to your local hospital or call 9-1-1 (or your regional equivalent).