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How to ask a child if they have been molested
About the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline
Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
How does it work?
When you call 800.656.HOPE (4673), you’ll be routed to a local RAINN affiliate organization based on the first six digits of your phone number. Cell phone callers have the option to enter the ZIP code of their current location to more accurately locate the nearest sexual assault service provider.
Telephone Hotline Terms of Service
How can the hotline help me?
Calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline gives you access to a range of free services including:
Confidential support from a trained staff member
Support finding a local health facility that is trained to care for survivors of sexual assault and offers services like sexual assault forensic exams
Someone to help you talk through what happened
Local resources that can assist with your next steps toward healing and recovery
Referrals for long term support in your area
Information about the laws in your community
Basic information about medical concerns
Is it confidential?
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is a safe, confidential service. When you call the hotline, only the first six numbers of the phone number are used to route the call, and your complete phone number is never stored in our system. Most states do have laws that require local staff to contact authorities in certain situations, like if there is a child or vulnerable adult who is in danger.
While almost all callers are connected directly to a staff member or volunteer at a local sexual assault service provider, a handful of providers use an answering service after daytime business hours. This service helps manage the flow of calls. If all staff members are busy, you may choose to leave a phone number with the answering service. In this case, the number will be confidential and will be given directly to the organization’s staff member for a callback. If you reach an answering service, you can try calling back after some time has passed, or you can choose to call during regular business hours when more staff members are available. You can also access 24/7 help online by visiting online. rainn.org.
Who are the sexual assault service providers?
Sexual assault service providers are organizations or agencies dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault. The providers who answer calls placed to the hotline are known as RAINN affiliates. To be part of the National Sexual Assault Hotline, affiliates must agree to uphold RAINN’s confidentiality standards. That means:
Never releasing records or information about the call without the consent of the caller, except when obligated by law
Only making reports to the police or other agencies when the caller consents, unless obligated by law
Agreeing to RAINN’s non-discrimination policy
To learn more about how a provider can become an affiliate of the National Sexual Assault Hotline, visit the Sexual Assault Service Provider information page. Volunteer opportunities for the National Sexual Assault Hotline are coordinated through these local providers. Search for volunteer opportunities near you.
How was the National Sexual Assault Hotline created?
The National Sexual Assault Hotline was the nation’s first decentralized hotline, connecting those in need with help in their local communities. It’s made up of a network of independent sexual assault service providers, vetted by RAINN, who answer calls to a single, nationwide hotline number. Since it was first created in 1994, the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) has helped more than 3 million people affected by sexual violence.
Before the telephone hotline was created, there was no central place where survivors could get help. Local sexual assault services providers were well equipped to handle support services, but the lack of a national hotline meant the issue did not receive as much attention as it should. In response, RAINN developed a unique national hotline system to combine all the advantages of a national organization with all the abilities and expertise of local programs. One nationwide hotline number makes it easier for survivors to be connected with the help they deserve.
Anyone affected by sexual assault, whether it happened to you or someone you care about, can find support on the National Sexual Assault Hotline. You can also visit online.rainn.org to receive support via confidential online chat.
Types of Sexual Violence | RAINN
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Sexual assault can take many different forms and be defined in different ways, but one thing remains the same: it’s never the victim’s fault.
When a perpetrator intentionally harms a minor physically, psychologically, sexually, or by acts of neglect, the crime is known as child abuse.
Men and boys who have been sexually assaulted or abused may also face some additional challenges because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity.
A perpetrator can have any relationship to a victim, and that includes the role of an intimate partner.
Regardless of how the law defines incest, unwanted sexual contact from a family member can have a lasting effect on the survivor.
In cases of drug-facilitated sexual assault, survivors often blame themselves. Remember—you are not to blame. You are the only one allowed to make choices for your body. Using drugs or alcohol is never an excuse for assault and does not mean that it was your fault.
Sexual Harassment - You should be able to feel comfortable in your place of work or learning. If you are being sexually harassed, you can report it to the authorities at your job, school, or local law enforcement.
Stalking - Learn more about stalking behaviors to help you notice them before they escalate—and take steps to protect yourself.
Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse - Many perpetrators of sexual abuse are in a position of trust or responsible for the child’s care, such as a family member, teacher, clergy member, coach, or other children such as older siblings.
Using Technology to Hurt Others - Some people use technology, such as digital photos, videos, apps, and social media, to engage in harassing, unsolicited, or non-consensual sexual interactions.
Sexual Abuse by Medical Professionals - When you go to the doctor, dentist, hospital or physical therapist, or see other medical professionals, you trust them to treat you with respect as they care for your health.
Sexual Exploitation by Helping Professionals - Sexual exploitation by a helping professional is a serious violation of your trust and, in many cases, the law.
Multiple-Perpetrator Sexual Assault - Multiple-perpetrator sexual assault, sometimes called gang rape, occurs when two or more perpetrators act together to sexually assault the same victim.
Elder Abuse - As the number of older adults in America increases, it will become all the more important to be aware of the warning signs of elder abuse.
Sexual Abuse of People with Disabilities - Consent is crucial when any person engages in sexual activity, but it plays an even bigger, and more complicated role when someone has a disability.
Prisoner Rape - If you’re an inmate, a former inmate, or know an inmate who survived sexual assault while in prison, there are resources available to you.
Military Sexual Trauma - Military Sexual Trauma, or MST, is the term used by the Department of Veteran Affairs to describe the effects of sexual violence experienced by a military Service member.
Legal Role of Consent - The legal definitions for terms like rape, sexual assault, and sexual abuse vary from state to state. Consent often plays an important role in determining whether an act is legally considered a crime.
RAINN has given me the courage and strength to stand up for what is right. Julianna, survivor
88¢ of every $1 goes to helping survivors and preventing sexual violence.
5 phrases that will help if a child is bullied at school
What to do if a child is bullied at school? Last time we figured out which phrases parents should avoid in this situation. Now director of the Internet Development Foundation and professor at the Faculty of Psychology of Moscow State University. Lomonosova Galina Soldatova, as part of the Cartoon Network anti-bullying campaign, tells what words can help a child cope with psychological discomfort.
The first task is to calm the child and provide him with a sense of security and emotional comfort. No matter how much you want to jump up and run to demand the offender to an answer and blame the teachers. The last thing a child needs right now is an irritated and agitated parent who cannot control his condition. Let him know that you appreciate his frankness. For many children, sharing such a problem with an adult is very, very difficult. Fear of being branded as a snitch or aggravating the situation, self-doubt, unwillingness to disappoint and upset mom or dad, shame - all this often prevents you from opening up.
It is important to show that you heard the child. That he is no longer alone with his problem, that an adult knows and will definitely help "," give back. They are perceived by the child as advice to figure everything out on your own, not to distract the parent with all sorts of nonsense and not to wait for someone to help him. Of course, one must sensibly assess the scale of the catastrophe. If we are talking about a 16-year-old teenager who quarreled with a classmate, then another strategy is already needed here, allowing him to cope with the conflict on his own. But in elementary and middle school, children absolutely need the support of their parents. But it is support, and not extraordinary guardianship and protection from any potential difficulties.
It happens that parents try to find the cause of bullying in the child himself: “Think about how you could offend the guys?”, “Is someone else offended or just you?”, “Well, you yourself know that you redhead/skinny/fat/wearing glasses.” It's out of the question. The child is not to blame for anything.
No one can be to blame for being humiliated, insulted, beaten or ignored
Bullying is not a problem of one or two students, but of the whole team, including teachers. And bullying cannot be justified by some characteristics of the child. The task of the parent is to convey this idea as clearly and understandably as possible.
Maybe the child did or said something that could offend or hurt another. But in this case, an adequate response will be a one-time showdown between children, after which everything will go on as usual. That is why you should remember the real markers of bullying (intentionality, repetition, inequality of strength) and distinguish it from a fleeting quarrel. In one incident, the child may be at fault. No one is immune from mistakes, passionate words and rash actions, but it is worth reminding him that you do not accept such behavior. But in bullying - it is definitely not his fault. It’s already so hard for a child now to blame an inferiority complex on him.
Such phrases serve several purposes at once. First, by involving the child in a discussion about solving the problem, you can help him regain some of the lost control. Now this will not harm the general psycho-emotional background. Secondly, you gradually teach him to make decisions and take responsibility for them. Thirdly, this approach allows you to demonstrate to the child that you treat him like an adult and listen to him - this is also important for self-esteem. Fourthly, sometimes, in addition to an opinion from the outside, a look from the inside is also needed.
Try to find out as much as possible about what is happening, ask leading questions, but do not turn a calm conversation into an interrogation
Who is involved in bullying, what does it say, what the teacher says, how classmates react. Sometimes, in the course of such a discussion, unexpected or non-obvious details may be revealed that the child, due to age, does not pay attention to. It is easier for a parent to notice them. And finally, by participating in the development of the plan, the child is always aware of events that directly concern him. This significantly reduces the level of anxiety on at least one point: there is no need to worry that mom will come to school without warning or dad will decide to deal with offenders like a man and will only make things worse.
After the first front of work with the child and having decided on the initial plan, it is worth talking with the teacher, class teacher or curator. Try to remain calm and objective, provide all the facts you have (dictaphone recordings, words of witnesses, printouts of calls and messages, correspondence on social networks when it comes to cyberbullying) and arguments. And it’s better not to ask to somehow influence the situation, but to ask what specific steps the teacher will take (and is not going to take) to stop bullying. What can he offer to provide the child with the highest possible level of safety in his lessons and during breaks.
If a productive dialogue with the teacher did not work out, then you need to contact the director or someone from the administration. Do not leave the school until you are sure that you were really heard, and did not get off with on-duty assurances that this will not happen again.
It doesn't hurt to talk to the offender's parents. Of course, it may also be that an aggressive child terrorizes the whole family, and at home no one is able to cope with him. But this is no longer your headache.
You need to convey a simple idea to the offender and his parents: if bullying does not stop, you will be forced to raise this issue at the next parent meeting
And if other moms or dads join you, you can talk about transferring an aggressive child to another school or , in severe cases, to apply to the appropriate authorities with evidence.
However, in addition to words, one should not forget about actions: it is desirable to combine moral support and practical help. If the situation is critical or you see that the child is going through what is happening too deeply, transfer him to another school. You can put it in some positive form - for example, say that the new school has an in-depth program in his favorite subject, strong teachers, or there are some unusual circles. In a word, come up with something so that the child does not perceive this translation as an escape.
If you think that the situation is not hopeless, support the child at all possible levels. Invite him to enroll in a sports section or a martial arts club, where he can not only find new friends, but also become stronger, more resilient, and therefore more self-confident. Get to know his classmates and invite them to visit more often, team up with other parents and exchange phone numbers with them and with the class teacher. Provide your child with a comfortable and calm atmosphere at home, praise him more often for his successes, spend as much time as possible together.
What should you do if you are harassed on the street? Psychologists advise how to deal with aggressive and drunk people - CityDog.
We recently launched a poll: “Fight or run? How do you deal with conflict situations? Today we are looking at the results (compare, would you do the same?). They also asked psychologists to advise what to do when we find ourselves in an emergency situation with drunk, inadequate or very aggressive people.
A noisy company is drinking in the yard. Most prefer not to interfere
More than half of the respondents said they would rather close the window or take ear plugs. Approximately one in three will call the police. 15% will shout from the balcony, and only 3% will come down to chat with drunkards.
The rest of the results are here.
And this is what psychologists say: “Avoid the phrases “it’s forbidden here”, “it’s impossible here.”0066
• Do not shout from the balcony. You won't be taken seriously.
• If you are about to leave, rate how drunk and aggressive the company is. “This can be seen from the communication between people, drinkers can shout at each other,” Olga comments.
• If the company is very drunk, it is better to call the police. If the company is not aggressive, you can defuse the tension with a joke.
• Do not attack and show your irritation. Avoid phrases: “it is forbidden here”, “it is impossible here”.
• Treat with respect and offer a way out of the situation: “Guys, I understand that you are sitting so cool, you feel good, but understand me too: I live here and I want to relax. Maybe change location?
psychologist, gestalt therapist
– We must remember that we communicate with inadequate people. Drunk people are more driven by animal instincts. I myself witnessed when a naked man ran in the yard, shouted that he was a god, smashed cars. I didn't go out and called the police. As a result, it turned out that the man was under spices. Even two policemen had to run after him, and it turned out to be a difficult task to twist the man. Therefore, it is better to contact the police. It's also nice to have the phones of the local police department. In that case, for some reason, I could not get through to 102.
There is a loud shout in the next apartment: there is a family conflict. Half would prefer not to interfere
“They will sort it out themselves,” 50% of the respondents believe. Only 11% in such situations called the police, and 15% rang the doorbell - either with harmless questions or asked to calm down.
The rest of the results are here.
This is what the psychologist says: "The door will most likely be opened by the aggressor."
First, check the neighbors with the words: "I'm looking for salt", "Are you all right, why are you making such a noise?" The psychologist warns: if this is violence, the door is likely to be opened by the aggressor.
Say from yourself: “I hear screams, and they frighten me (alarm, interfere)”.
You can warn that you can defend yourself: “Your noise bothers me, if you don’t calm down, I’ll call the police.” This can cool the aggressor.
The psychologist notices that in a couple of minutes it is impossible to determine whether this is violence or a domestic quarrel. If the screams continue, then look at the neighbors during the "quiet" time. Perhaps you will meet a victim of abuse and be able to offer help.
A drunken company on the street or in a transport sticks to a person. And again, half prefer not to climb
51% tries not to interfere in such situations. 30% helped the victim, but without assault. 4% got into fights.
The rest of the results are here.
What if they pester you? Here is what the psychologist advises
• Say a calm, firm and justified “no”: “No, I am in a hurry about my business”, “No, I am not making acquaintances”, “No, I have a young man ".
• Show that you are unhappy with the situation. This is where raising your voice can help.
• If they don't let you in, tell them you are going to the next step for protection: “I'll call the police”, “I'll yell for help”, “I'll call my friend/boyfriend”, “I'll hit”. The last one is the last step. The psychologist advises to say these phrases only if you actually do it.
What to do if someone decides to “dig” you?
Gestalt therapist, Master of Psychology
It is important to stop the conversation and show that you cannot be spoken to in such a tone. You can say: “I will not continue the conversation in such a tone”, “Keep your bad mood to yourself”, “I do not intend to listen to this.”
In situations of "teacher-student", "boss-subordinate" it is important to support yourself after a conflict. Explain to yourself that it is not bad at all if you could not respond to rudeness, because you have less rights.
In the same situation, you can answer like this: “When you speak in such a tone, I want to respond rudely, but subordination does not allow”, “I am ready (a) to listen to your comments, but could you speak in a constructive manner?”
Unfamiliar children are very noisy on the train (airplane, bus). Most people don't mind
45% of the respondents do not pay attention to this. A third turn to parents with a request to appease their children. How are you doing?
The rest of the results are here.
– I myself am a mother of two children. I want to note that in our society it is not customary to be tolerant of children and the fact that everyone shows himself and emotions. We have such a mentality: there is a desire to shut everyone up so that no one sticks out. It's one thing when children cross the boundaries: climb on their hands, touch things. Another thing is when the noise is as if you are near a playground.
Public transport is a public space just like a street. It suggests noise. We have the right to say that this causes discomfort. But the other has the right not to provide comfort. To be heard, talk to your parents. They are responsible for the child and know how to calm him down. It is better not to address in the style of "you have to calm the child." Speak through the I-statement. For example: “It is important for me to sleep now, can I take the child for a while?”
A man is lying on the sidewalk. 14% in such cases will not approach him
37% in such situations were convinced that the person was drunk – “it's none of my business anymore”. 24% called emergency services and waited for their arrival. And 13% provided first aid.
The rest of the answers are here.
Why do we choose not to interfere? Here's what psychologists say
- This is due to our mentality and upbringing. They teach us not to feel ourselves, our boundaries. Most do not understand what they are entitled to. No sense of own boundaries. Therefore, some give advice when they do not ask, and do not take responsibility in situations when they ask for help. This is bad, because we still experience. A person passes by, and then thinks: what happened, it was necessary to help, etc. There is a feeling of guilt. And if you ignore these situations all the time, then the person then stops noticing these moments so as not to feel guilty.
– First, because when we see aggression and hear shouting, we get scared. This is natural, it is an instinctive reaction of the body. What if I go - there will be a bull, and I will get more? Second, because sometimes it's really hard to figure out if a couple is arguing or violent. Thirdly, in the case of neighbors screaming, there is a fear that the person will be rejected. I'm a neighbor - what if they treat me worse later? In general, whether it is necessary to help or not is an individual decision. Someone will be frightened, decide to pass by and thus make the right decision for themselves.
Arseniy Volodko, psychologist, Gestalt therapist
– There was one study – “an experiment with a good Samaritan”. One part of the students was read the parable about the good Samaritan, the other was given another task. After that, all students had to move to another building. And those to whom the parable was read should also give a lecture about goodness. On the way there was a figurehead who pretended that he felt bad. It turned out that both groups reacted the same way. As a result, few people stopped to help. There, such attitudes began to work: someone else would help him, they were waiting for me, etc. Therefore, it is even advised to shout “fire”, and not “help”. So you hurt the personal interests of people - they are more likely to help. When there are many people around, we prefer not to interfere.
What else did we learn from the survey
If strong guys without any identification marks drag a stranger into a car on the street, every fourth respondent will move away, and 22% will call the police.