If It Happens To You: Patty Blount on Sexual Assault
Sexual assault is, sadly, a serious concern and issue many teens face in today's world. Many authors, like Patty Blount, have tackled this subject and have helped survivors handle and overcome their trials. In Blount's recent release, Some Boys, tells the story of a teen who's raped and has to deal with the aftermath, including her peers who don't believe her. Today, Patty shares some thoughtful guidance for those seeking help.
I’m not a professional counselor; I’m an author who wrote a book that deals with sexual assault. In my book, main character Grace Collier goes to the hospital, talks to police and contacts a rape crisis hotline.
Those are all the things you should do if it happens to you.
But where do you begin? How do you know if it’s really assault or rape? I can tell you what I learned while researching my story — rape is ANY unwanted sexual contact. If you did not give your consent — then it’s rape. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a girl, if you’re dating/married to your attacker, or unconscious. All that matters is consent.
You can begin by contacting one of the many professional organizations that were created to help people just like you:
- National Association for Victims of Crime
- Pandora’s Project
- Local rape crisis hotline — you can find these online.
Organizations like these are staffed by people who know exactly what you’re going through because many of them have survived similar experiences. They can help you tell the police or your parents, even when you may not want to face them.
Here’s what you should NOT do:
You shouldn’t believe it’s your fault — no matter what you wore or did or said. You shouldn’t try to shower or get rid of things that can be used as evidence like the clothes you had on, or messages that might have been sent. You shouldn’t try to handle what happened all by yourself.
When you do tell the people you love, they will likely have strong reactions of their own and this is normal. The organizations I listed can help you help them cope with their reactions to what happened to you.
I’m not qualified to help you but these organizations are. Please let them.
Some Boys is available now, so be sure to purchase your copy today! And for more YA authors and books, visit our Everything YA page.