Sexual Assault: The Ultimate Teen Guide (It Happened to Me)

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9781442252479: Sexual Assault: The Ultimate Teen Guide (It Happened to Me)

Out of all reported cases of sexual assault, nearly 70 percent occur with victims who are under the age of seventeen, and it has been estimated that one in ten children will be sexually abused before they turn eighteen. Sexual assault has become an all-too-common occurrence among young adults. An assault can causephysical injuries, STDs and STIs,post-traumatic stress disorder, flashbacks, anxiety, depression, and other re-experiencing symptoms. It can lead to poor academic performance, substance abuse, risky sexual behavior, and even suicide. Research has also shown that victims of sexual abuse are more likely to confide in friends than in adults, but those friends may not be-equipped to help.

In Sexual Assault: The Ultimate Teen Guide, Olivia Ghafoerkhan describes the various ways sexual violence can be perpetrated, discusses myths many teens believe about the subject, and outlines how young adults can get the help they need to begin the healing process. Topics covered include

  • date rape
  • abusive relationships
  • incest
  • breaking the silence
  • victim blaming
  • support
  • healing

An invaluable resource for young people, Sexual Assault: The Ultimate Teen Guide aims to give victims and their friends the courage to report such crimes, advice on where to find help, and hope that life can return to some sense of normalcy after such a horrific experience.

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About the Author:

Olivia Ghafoerkhan has an MFA in writing for children and young adults and teaches composition at a community college in Virginia. She has completed training to assist sexual assault victims who are in crisis, and volunteers through the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

Review:

In her impassioned, thorough, forthright guide to the increasingly contentious arena of sexual consent, Ghafoerkhan draws a firm line: 'Unwanted contact, such as kissing or groping, is . . . sexual assault.' Of course, the possibilities extend beyond disturbing to the unimaginably horrific. However, she takes care to dismiss the standard 'rape script' (entailing a deserted locale and a violent stranger), driving home the point that, in the majority of sexual assault cases, the perpetrator is someone the victim knows. A wealth of deeply moving first-person accounts brings home the repercussions of unwanted sexual contact. While mustering a staggering array of statistics, the author keeps the focus personal (the prevailing voice is second person) and restorative as well as preventative. '‘Healing’ from a sexual assault isn’t alway possible in the traditional sense,' she notes in a chapter devoted to coping with the aftermath, 'which is why many professionals use the word recovery.' The closing segment moves on to 'Activism': 'I call it from pain to purpose,' says one survivor. The book’s price precludes slipping a copy into every last high school locker—though statistically, 'one out of every six U.S. women' will face rape at some point in their lives—but it certainly deserves a place in every school library. (Booklist, Starred Review)

This important teen guide performs two crucial functions: educating teens on numerous myths associated with sexual assault, and showing teens how to help both themselves and their friends. Given that teens are, according to the author, more likely to confide about these assaults to their friends rather than to an adult, Sexual Assault: The Ultimate Teen Guide provides essential guidance for the all-too-many teens who have to confront these issues.... This essential resource is thought-provoking and humbling, and it is ideal for teen allies—including parents, educators, and mentors—who want to understand how they can help. (Foreword Reviews)

This entry in the It Happened to Me series provides an easy-to-read, moving guide to understanding sexual assault. The author begins by discussing the many ways sexual assault happens, followed by the myths that surround the situations and the ways a person can get help if it happens to them. There are sidebars which contain stories or other information that may be pertinent. Many works of fiction and movies dealing with the subject are presented to the reader. I was especially interested in the analysis of the Twilight series, where the author notes the number of occurrences when Bella is ordered to do something by the main male characters, as well as the number of references to suicide, self-harm, and instances of male aggression. The author discusses how important it is to speak up about instances of sexual assault, but that many times the person to whom the victim speaks is a friend who may not be able to help. I recommend this book as a necessary and most helpful addition to high school and public libraries. (School Library Connection)

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