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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Sexual Abuse (50 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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Virgen 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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The writer endures sexual abuse by her uncle until she blurts the truth out to a teacher. Her mother does not rise to the occasion. (full text)
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Therapists describe techniques that use the body to help abuse survivors recover from their trauma—EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, and EFT Tapping. (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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Jennifer lacks control in many areas of her life, which hits home when she is drugged against her will in a hospital. She then takes more control—for better and worse. (full text)
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After having suicidal thoughts and cutting herself, Virgen is committed to a psychiatric hospital, but she doesn't think she's crazy. Harming herself seems a perfectly normal way to escape the trauma of having been sexually abused by her father. (full text)
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For years, Virgen 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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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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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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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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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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Having been sexually abused as a child, the writer is nervous about having sex for the first time. When she loses her virginity at 16, she feels repulsed rather than close to her lover.
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Linda Lausell Bryant, executive director of Inwood House, a youth development agency, talked to Represent about what good sex education looks like for everyone, including kids who’ve suffered sexual abuse.
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Having a child makes Erica flash back to her childhood. Having no memories of warm hugs or gentle kisses from her parents, she finds it hard to bond with her newborn daughter.
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The author interviews therapist Shelly Petnov-Sherman about why abuse can be hard to report, and how youth can deal with feelings of guilt and self-blame.
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Sexual abuse sparks an eating disorder, which plagues the author for years even after the abuse stops. Finally, the author enters a treatment center and begins the slow process of recovery.
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Fred was sexually abused as a child and has trust issues that interfere in his dating life. He is afraid to commit to one girl, but he decides on a new path after a girl he’s dating cheats on him.
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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.
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After years of abuse, the author finds the courage to speak up and get help.
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With her current boyfriend, the writer experiences frightening flashbacks of being abused by her father.
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The author’s mother refuses to acknowledge that her daughter was sexually abused.
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The writer is sexually abused by her father for many years. While she has been devastated by the experience, she still fells emotionally dependent on his affection.
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After years of childhood abuse, Christine doesn’t know how to have a healthy relationship with her body.
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The author looks at why family members deny that sexual abuse is happening and how the child is affected.
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Theresa's faith is tested when her grandmother dies and she suffers sexual abuse. By 17, however, she starts finding comfort in the Bible.
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When Lakia is placed in a foster home in her neighborhood, she discovers it’s not far enough away to escape the problems she had at home.
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The author loses a close relationship with a staff member when she discovers that he is having sex with residents.
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The writer describes the frustration of having her family court case adjourned four times. The numerous delays cause the writer to drop sexual abuse charges against her stepfather.
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At first, the writer wonders if she is to blame for her abuse and keeps it secret. She finally realizes it is not her fault and tells a guidance counselor.
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Cutting helps the writer temporarily forget the pain of being physically and sexually abused, and she’s not ready to give it up.
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Refusing to eat becomes a way for Autumn to escape the pain of being sexually abused.
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A teen interviews a man who sexually abused his children.
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The author realizes that what her father has been doing to her for years is sexual abuse and decides to come forward.
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As a child, Tieysha is sexually abused by a family friend. She is too ashamed to tell anyone, fearful she'll be blamed or no one will believe her. When she goes into foster care, Tieysha discovers she's not alone and gets help from a support group and individual therapy.
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A teen mother in foster care is forced to have sex by her social worker, who uses his power to exploit her.
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The author uses art to express her feelings and let others know what’s happening in her home.
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The writer feels like she's betraying her parents by reporting their addiction to crack, but she also realizes she's better off living in foster care and not at home with addicts who abuse her.
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Five years after her brother tried to rape her, this writer gradually stopped being afraid to tell anyone. (full text)
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The author is haunted by the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. The only person who seems to understand is her boyfriend. (full text)
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It takes several years for the author to tell her mom that her stepfather is abusing her. But when she does, her mom takes immediate action to protect her.
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Three years after she is raped, the author finally tells her mother about what happened.
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When a classmate reads aloud a story about a girl who is sexually abused by her father, the author is flooded with memories of being fondled as a young girl in Trinidad. At 17, she speaks up about it for the first time.

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