I was touched inappropriately by a family member I had admiration for and who I thought I could trust. What would you do? – Tina
First of all, I am so sorry to hear this. What this person did to you is not okay and it is in no way your fault. Do not feel guilty, or wrong, or shameful. The situation you’re describing is unfortunately one I’ve heard many times. Sexual abusers are more likely to be people we actually know, and in some instances trust and care for. I can’t imagine how challenging of a situation this must be for you, especially hearing that you did trust and admire this person. But sexual abusers often build relationships with their victims for the specific purpose of gaining their trust and later manipulating them into staying silent.
My advice… do NOT stay silent. It was so brave and strong of you to even reach out and talk to me about this, so I know you’re brave and strong enough to tell someone in your life who can make sure this never happens to you or anyone else ever again. The fact that this person is a member of your family makes things really difficult, but if you are close enough with and trust your parents, tell them. If not them tell any other adult in your life who you trust; a teacher, a coach, your best friend’s mum…
Know that many people may not believe you, or may get angry at you, or the worst… believe you, get angry at you and tell you to stay silent. Prepare yourself for that. But you need to protect yourself first and foremost. Call the rape, abuse and incest hotline (I know it sounds corny and very Drake, but these people are professionals and know a hell of a lot more than I do).
It’s okay to not know how to handle this. It will be a process. But you need to start by telling someone who can protect you from this person.
I know you can do it.