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Weird feelings about my rapist

So I'm 15 and I was assaulted just over a year ago and weirdly, I feel quite neutral about the incident. Although when I do think about it it makes me feel kind of sick, I don't think about it a lot (certainly not everyday) and I feel that it doesn't affect my everyday life, like I don't feel scarred by what happened. I feel like maybe I shouldn't feel like this because what happened to me was traumatic and I wish it hadn't, but I don't really know what the right feelings are.

My rapist was my boyfriend. He was 18 at the time. He would take me out on dates and tell me that he loved me and hold my hand and sometimes I want him back. I want to be back with him despite what he did to me and everytime I want it I know I shouldn't. I feel so bad because sometimes I miss him. And I feel so bad because often thinking about him makes me horny and that is what terrifies me the most because I know that I shouldn't feel sexual aroused by someone who used me and violated me sexually.

I don't know what to do or how to move on. Any advice?

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Sam

Hi there,

Rape and sexual assault can leave someone with confusing and difficult feelings. Sometimes people who've been raped feel ashamed or guilty for the feelings they have about the person who abused them. Sometimes natural things the body does in reaction to sex can make someone feel confused about whether or not they really were raped. These things do not make what happened to you any less wrong.

Everyone reacts and recovers from rape or abuse in their own way. There's no right or wrong way to feel. When the person that abused you was someone you knew, like your partner or a family member, it can be especially difficult to understand how we feel towards that person later on.

Your boyfriend was someone who you had a relationship and a history with, so it might be difficult to separate out all of the good memories you may have had with him - which can start to make you feel as though you want that again. Sometimes this can be a way of coping with what happened by trying to focus on the good things about that person, but this doesn't excuse or change what they did to you. In some cases it can start to make someone feel guilty or question if they really were raped or abused.

What he did was wrong. It's important to get help so that you can accept what has happened before moving on.

There is help for people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. I can recommend Rape Crisis for girls and Survivors UK for boys. Your doctor should also be able to help you get support if you wanted it. And don't forget, Childline counsellors are always here for you.

Thanks for your letter,

Sam

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