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I am 21 and was raped as a child... I would like to know how I can prevent this from moving forward... I would like to know how I can make my life effective to end the rape situation in America? I'm willing, please send more information - Candace

Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM. I'm sorry to hear that you were raped as a child--and, also, glad that you are brave enough to want to work to end this cycle of abuse. As a society, we still live in denial about the prevelance of child sexual abuse and in reality--one in four girls and one in seven boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. What we actually have is a cycle of abuse--men who abuse were usually abused and usually go on to abuse. A different pattern comes out in women--women who are abused usually go on to be abused in different ways. To break these cycles, we have to acknowledge this abuse and then the healing can begin. It sounds like you are already taking steps in that direction. If you need incentive to talk more openly about your situation, remember that the person who abused you is likely to have abused others--and similarly---on average, there are 1 in 4 women who have been abused. Your honesty and openess is likely the break that cycle for others.

For more specifics. You can volunteer at a local shelter and/or write about your experience as a way of breaking the taboo. For further support and resources, you should check out our Violence Against Women links.

. I don't feel that I have been that helpful, so if you give me more specifics, I can try to be more helpful.


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