In your family
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 'The way I coped with the sexual abuse taught me a lot about myself. It's made me a lot stronger, and through this very difficult time I've discovered the real me. I've learned to appreciate life more....abuse never goes away, you just learn to deal with it and accept what has happened.' *  

Dealing with feelings

 If you, or someone else in your family is abused, it can really get you down. You've probably already worked out a few ways of dealing with it. Here are some more ideas.

  • Talk to someone about what's happening. It can help you to feel less alone, or to work out what you can do to get safe. See 'What Services can help?' and Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Write your feelings down in a journal or on the TIP of the Iceberg sheet.
  • Do drawings or art to express yourself.
  • Listen to music, write your own song, rap lyrics or poem.
  • Play sport, or go for a walk, run, a swim or a bike ride.
  • Go to a place you like.
 Changing this situation:

Things can get better. There are people who can help you to get safe from abuse.

See    Bursting the Bubble: steps to working it out.

 'I used to drink and smoke dope, just to try to blot it out. But it just led to worse feelings, it didn't take it away.'  

  • It's not your fault.
  • You're not 'weird' - abuse happens to lots of young people and in lots of families.
  • Dealing with this can make you a stronger person.
  • You're important and you deserve to be happy!

 'I play basketball heaps. It helps me get my anger out, just slamming the ball around.'  

 'Growing up, I had to learn how to handle stress. I think I'm pretty calm in emergencies now. I tend to deal with stress better than other people who didn't have such difficult childhoods.'  

* (This quote is from Lauren, from A Guide for Young Women about Sexual Assault,
Northern Centre Against Sexual Assault, 2002)

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