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I am 17 and I think my ex-boyfriend raped me. He would scream at me and push me around and call me names if I wouldn’t have sex with him. I was really afraid of him so I learned not to say no and I would give in every time. Is that considered rape? I really need to know. I told my parents and they said that it is but I am not for sure if they are right. Please help me.

This must be a very difficult situation for you, but you’ve taken the first step — you’re reaching out for help.

Sexual assault is the use of force or intimidation — physical or psychological — to make a person engage in sexual activity. And rape is a kind of sexual assault.
We all have the right to say no to sex. And even saying “yes” is not binding. That means that you have the right to change your mind at any time, for any reason. You are the only person who has the right to set — or change — the boundaries around what feels comfortable and good to you. If you agree to something but then change your mind, you have the right to stop it immediately. If both people truly care about each other, it means that they continue to listen to each other every step of the way.

Healing from a rape may take a while, so give yourself the time you need to deal with the hurt you feel inside. It’s important to continue talking about the rape, even if it happened a while ago. You may want to contact the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network at 1-800-656-HOPE for additional information and support.

Tags: sex, consent, rape, sexual assault