WHAT IS SEXUAL ABUSE?
The term "sexual abuse" covers a wide spectrum of actions - physical and emotional - that the abuser may attempt to use on the victim.
Sexual assault: forcing someone to participate in unwanted, unsafe or degrading sexual activity. Coercion by threats and/or manipulation such as accusing the survivor of cheating or infidelity.
Sexual harassment: ridiculing another person to try to limit their sexuality or reproductive choices
Sexual exploitation (such as forcing someone to look at pornography, or forcing someone to participate in pornographic film-making)
Withholds sex and affection as punishment
Calls person offensive sexual names
Engages in sexual relationships outside of the marriage or monogamous relationship
Denies contraception or protection against a sexually transmitted infection
IF YOU’RE READY TO LEAVE
Statistically, the most dangerous time for the abused person is when they are fleeing the violent situation. If at all possible, try and prepare by taking the steps listed below.
Contact your local crisis center to speak to an advocate. Serenity's 24-hour hotline is (870)424-SAFE (7233).
Develop a safety plan.
HOW TO DEVELOP A SAFETY PLAN
Put away an emergency fund of cash.
Obtain copies of documents such as passports, driver’s license, birth certificates for yourself and child(ren) if applicable, immunization records, and any other important documents.
Pack a suitcase with basic clothing and hygiene needs for yourself and child(ren) that is easily accessible in an emergency.
Develop a code word for your family and friends to let them know you may be in danger.
Educate yourself about the legal system. (i.e. protective orders, legal remedies for immigrants, etc.)