Child abuse doesn’t just happen to young children. Teenagers can be victims.
It is estimated 1 in 10 children will be abused before they turn 18.
The Granite State Children’s Alliance serves children of all ages.
If you’re a teenager in need of help, or you know one that is, tell someone.
Contact the Division for Children, Youth & Families (1-800-894-5533) or your local police.
Teenagers may be reluctant to tell someone because of fear of getting in trouble, and/or fear of the abuser.
- All people should feel safe, respected and in control of their own bodies. Though it can be difficult to talk about getting it out in the open can bring a sense of relief. Most important, it can bring an end to the abuse.
- If you are a victim of abuse, it’s important to know that keeping it a secret doesn’t mean you’re weak, that you wanted it to happen or could have stopped it.
- Finding someone to tell may be difficult, especially if the abuser is a family member or trusted friend. What you need to know is there are other people in your life that can help. Identify a trusted adult and tell them what is happening.
- You can also call the Division for Children, Youth and Families @ 1-800-894-5533, or contact your local police department. the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a great resource and has 24 hour hotline coverage.
- Sexual abuse is a crime and if you’re victim it is not your fault. Help is available, let someone know what has happened to you and tell the authorities.
Counseling & Support
There’s no “normal” reaction to abuse. In fact, the effects of abuse can vary greatly from person to person. The important thing to know is that professional support lessens the long term negative effects of abuse by helping victims develop coping skills. Sweeping abuse under the carpet doesn’t work.
Counseling and support groups are available throughout New Hampshire for teens who’ve been abused. One-on-one counseling provides a safe, private place to share feelings. Support groups bring teens with similar experiences together. If you’re a teen in need of help, talk with a trusted adult to find the right support system for you. If you’re unsure of what to do contact your local CAC.
Seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness. It is a positive step toward healing.
Professional support can provide understanding that the abuse doesn’t have to define them.
Internet Safety Tips
The Internet is a tremendous resource and a fun place to explore. It can also be dangerous. Cyber-bullies and sexual predators can hide behind their user names, searching for people to harm. Be smart! Be Cautious! Think about your safety before you make a choice online.
Internet sites that attract Teens will also attract cyber-bullies and predators.
Follow these basic guidelines to keep safe on the Internet:
- Be your own person. Don’t let friends or strangers pressure you to be someone you’re not. And remember, people aren’t always who they say they are online.
- Think about what you post. Sharing provocative photos or intimate details online, even in private emails, can cause problems and have unintended consequences.
- Passwords are private. Never share your password, even with friends. You never want to be impersonated by anyone online.
- Don’t post provocative photos, suggestive messages or anything else you’d be embarrassed to have a parent, teacher, coach or other trusted adult see.
- Don’t talk about sex with strangers. If the conversation starts to be about sexual or physical details and you are uncomfortable or feel unsafe, disengage from the communication.
- Never agree to meetings with strangers. The only way someone can physically harm you is if you’re both in the same location, so – to be 100% safe – don’t meet them in person.
Find more information at NetSmartz.org.
“Sexting” is the sending of sexually explicit messages or images via cellphones or other media sharing technologies, such as email or instant messaging.
- Sexting can hurt: A “private” message may end up being shared with others. Whether intentional or by accident, the end result may be teasing, harassment and humiliation. Even sharing thoughts or photos with someone you love and trust may end up being shared.
- Sexting can be illegal: Sexting may seem like harmless and fun, but if the person in the photograph is a minor, it’s illegal. If nude photos of a minor are sent it could result in a criminal charge of producing and/or distributing child pornography. Receiving such photos or keeping nude pictures of minors on a phone, computer or other device can result in a criminal charge of possession of child pornography.