The youth-written stories in Represent give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Child Abuse (74 found)
Note: These stories are from Represent and its sister publication, YCteen, which is written by New York City public high school students.
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V.N. reviews the controversial movie Precious and, as a young person in foster care, she vouches for its true-to-life depiction of a seriously dysfunctional family. However, she finds it too hopeless. (full text)
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Writing and working with an editor helped Zaniyah understand her own anger, forgive herself, and take control of her life. (full text)
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The author was sexually abused by her adopted father for several years. After she goes into care, she decides to testify about it, and sends a predator to prison. (full text)
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Elvia's mom dies when she's a senior in high school. In despair, she shuts down, but heals with the help of therapy, writing, and caring friends and mentors. (full text)
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E.F. looks back on her mother's abuse and her own fighting at school. She is placed with her grandmother at age 11, goes to therapy, and learns to handle her own feelings. (full text)
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Psychotherapist Russell Saunders explains how to heal from a parent's abuse or neglect, how to make boundaries with those parents, and what needs to happen before you can forgive them. (full text)
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Robert's parents neglect and abuse him, and he's sent to a group home. Feeling unheard, he acts out until he receives love and attention from mentors, a therapist, and his grandmother. (full text)
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The author, frustrated by abuse and unfairness, fights. After hitting a pregnant girl, she realizes she must stop and does, with the help of yoga, running, and therapy. (full text)
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The writer is treated badly and inconsistently by her mother and grandmother. She cuts herself to relieve her pain, but moves toward stopping with the help of music, reading, and writing. (full text)
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At age 15, Alesha is seduced and then abused by a predator in his 30s. She details how he manipulated her, then how she got free and repaired her damaged self-worth. (full text)
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The writer is prostituted by her parents, runs away, and then goes into care. Her father begs for forgiveness, and she decides that forgiving him will bring her some peace. (full text)
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The writer's childhood was a blur of drug dealing, abuse, death, and chaos. He mourns never getting to "do kid things" and ponders how he'll ever be able to trust. (full text)
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The author's mother subjects the author and her twin sister to extreme abuse, which is worse when she drinks. The author gets herself to college after they go into care, but her sister slides into addiction. (full text)
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Chris suffers abuse at home, including his adoptive mom not accepting his gender identity. He nearly gives up on school, but in a small school for kids with emotional challenges, he thrives. (full text)
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Desmin explains how a tough, crime-ridden high school and chaotic home life put him on the path to dropping out. (full text)
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Selena's early life is full of abuse and cruelty. She is adopted by a loving family at age 16 and learns about consistency, connection, and working through problems. (full text)
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K.O.'s mother works nights and leaves the writer to take care of her younger siblings at age 11. This leads them into foster care. (full text)
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The author is forced by her mother and stepfather to be the maid and nanny to her younger half-siblings. In kinship care, she's allowed to be a child again. (full text)
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The author was physically and emotionally abused. When she ages out of care, she finds that years of being put down keep her from going after work or college. (full text)
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Selena suffers terrible abuse from an early age, then is moved to 16 different foster homes in two years. Then she finds a foster mother who sticks with her and eventually adopts her. (full text)
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The author feels isolated at school, partly because of abuse at home. She makes a friend and tells him ALMOST everything. She discovers he's held back some secrets too. (full text)
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The author is removed from her abusive mother at age 11, and starts therapy. It's good for several years, but as she grows up, she needs a therapist who's less parental. (full text)
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The author is jealous of her younger sister, who is their mom's favorite. When their mom's abuse sends them into care, the author realizes she and her sister are each other's family. (full text)
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Miguel has a lot of anger from his stepfather's abuse, and then from his foster family's indifference. A mentor guides him to boxing, and he gains control of his feelings and his future. (full text)
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The bond between a parent and child is powerful and lasting. When this bond is disrupted by abuse or neglect, young people need to make other connections to heal -- and to be good parents themselves. (full text)
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After being repeatedly disappointed by his mother, C.F. ultimately finds other, more caring adults to open up to. (full text)
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Psychotherapist Russell Saunders explains how to heal from a parent's abuse or neglect, how to make boundaries with those parents, and what needs to happen before you can forgive them (full text)
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Without a mother, Victoria went from one bad living situation to another, which made everything else hard. A good foster mother helped her find her talents and make friends. (full text)
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Maria's mother leaves her home alone all day and evening and beats her when she is home. Maria is put into care and given a choice of families. (full text)
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The author's mom abuses her, and she goes into care. She finally gets a loving foster mom, but then her biological mom wants her back. (full text)
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Psychologist Sylvia Lester explains how to distance yourself from past abuse. (full text)
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A young mother grows to trust her foster parents and let them love her son. (full text)
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Victor reviews Rosie Perez's memoir of growing up in a group home where nuns abused her. Despite all her achievements, Perez suffers PTSD and depression and finally gets therapy years later. (full text)
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The author gains weight and is bullied. She briefly tries throwing up her food, until she has a health scare and takes off the weight slowly with exercise and healthy diet. (full text)
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The author is raised by a volatile and abusive mother. When she finds herself acting like her mother and screaming at her boyfriend, she is appalled. She gets therapy. (full text)
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Robert describes how his therapist helped him face the pain from his father's abuse, neglect, and abandonment. She also helps Robert envision a better future. (full text)
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Lavell summons the courage to stand up to her abusers and later shares her experiences with a supportive therapist so she can begin healing. (full text)
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Psychologist Sylvia Lester speaks to Represent about the effects of past abuse on teen sex and parenting. (full text)
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After having suicidal thoughts and cutting herself, V.N. is committed to a psychiatric hospital, but she doesn't think she's crazy. Harming herself seems to help her escape the trauma of sexual abuse. (full text)
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Young adults who weren't taught as children how to handle difficult emotions are more likely to develop mental health issues as adults. (full text)
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Therapy and trusting relationships with people can help teens manage stress and difficult emotions, and recover from childhood trauma. (full text)
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For years, V.N. is sexually and physically abused by her father. She goes into foster care, grapples with cutting and suicide attempts, and finds some relief from talk therapy and antidepressants. (full text)
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As a child, Natasha escaped into an imaginary world to deal with pain. Now she wonders if the habit has outworn its usefulness. (full text)
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Aquellah works hard in therapy to release her inner child—the feelings and longings she was never allowed to express. (full text)
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Natasha interviews a therapist to explain how therapy works and why it’s important for kids who’ve suffered trauma. (full text)
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Because of an abusive past, the writer dissociates from reality and cuts herself. Yet she has the tiniest bit of hope that all is not lost. (full text)
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Diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, Erica learns to manage her emotions through therapy and medication. (full text)
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To deal with her abusive past, Christine mentally dissociates and begins to cut herself. Letting out her feelings helps her stay present.
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A therapist explains why people cut themselves and how they may be able to stop. (full text)
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Growing up in a violent, dysfunctional household, Linda becomes depressed and suicidal. Therapy helps her express her feelings. (full text)
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At a youth shelter, the author gets connected with a good therapist who helps him release his anger over the abuse he suffered as a child. (full text)
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With the help of staff, Tray finds less destructive ways to deal with his emotions. (full text)
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Chaquana can never depend on her drug-addicted mother. She ends their conversations by saying “goodbye” instead of “I love you.” (full text)
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After being arrested for assault, Fred is sent to a residential treatment center, where he eventually learns ways to deal with his anger and his violent past. (full text)
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An abusive past has left Natasha with anger and panic attacks. (full text)
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Physically abused by his mother, Miguel takes out his anger on others by being a bully and on himself by attempting suicide. (full text)
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Miguel describes the programs that have tried to help him manage his emotions, and explains what works and what doesn’t. (full text)
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The author loses her close relationship with her grandmother when she speaks up about the abuse that’s happening in their home. (full text)
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Julie finds that opening up about her feelings helps her to deal with them in more constructive ways. (full text)
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The writer goes to family court numerous times for hearings on her sexual abuse case, but is never allowed to speak in court. (full text)
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Years later, the male author still feels deeply ashamed about being raped at age 8. (full text)
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After telling a counselor that she’s being abused, the writer is removed from her home and gets the help she needs to recover. (full text)
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Psychologist Patti Feurereisen talks to Mimi about how to recover from the trauma of rape. (full text)
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Angela goes into care after being molested by her father. She's relieved to find a group home that provides her with the structure and safety she never got at home. (full text)
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The author resolves to deal with the anger she’s developed from her abusive childhood, so she won’t abuse others. (full text)
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Zeena slowly realizes that the abuse she gets from her parents isn’t just part of their culture—it’s wrong. (full text)
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“Not living with either of my parents made me feel like a puzzle piece that didn’t fit in anywhere,” writes Joel. Therapy makes him feel less out of place and abandoned. (full text)
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Melvin Pichardo profiles Victoria Pannell, a New York City high school teenager, who advocates for survivors of child sex trafficking. (full text)
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After being sexually abused throughout her life by numerous men in her family, the writer meets other young women and learns that her experience is common in her South Asian culture. (full text)
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The author keeps giving her violent, abusive mom another chance, and her mom keeps letting her down. She finally resolves to separate and move forward on her own. (full text)
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When the writer was 12, her sister was molested by her uncle in the next bedroom. Life for them both has never been the same. (full text)
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This writer’s first sexual encounter with a boy is nothing like the romantic experience she envisioned. When he doesn't listen to her refusal, she kicks him out. (full text)
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The writer is being abused at home, but doesn't share that secret with anyone. She bonds with a teacher at school, who offers support and love when the writer needs it most. (full text)
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Kicked out of the house by her mother, the writer goes to live with her father. Although life's not perfect, she realizes she shouldn't blame herself for a situation over which she had no control. (full text)

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