I was wondering if you could tell me if something was my fault. I'm 16 and I had a guy friend that was a couple of years older than me. I knew him from church so naive as I was I trusted him. I thought that because he was a Christian that he would be respectful and kind to me, but like I said I was naive. So at first we just wrestled and were playful like that. I had never gotten that much attention before so I ate it up. He was always talking about how guys should respect girls and wait until after marriage to sleep with them so that made me trust him even more. I got to know him for a few months and I got really comfortable around him so I invited him over to my house to hang out in the basement. It was nighttime but my parents were just upstairs and I trusted him so I saw no problem with this. There was a pull out bed down there that I went to sit on and he followed me. He started tickling me like always but this time he said, "you're ticklish everywhere aren't you?" then he proceeded to stick his hands under my shirt and 'tickle' me very inappropriately. It made me extremely uncomfortable but I never moved or told him to stop. He was friends with all of my other friends and I knew I was going to see him a lot, so I was scared about how things would change, and honestly I felt like I couldn't talk at all anyway. It happened again in his car except it was worse, then I made sure to never be alone with him after that. But I feel so guilty that it's consuming me. Because I feel like it's my fault because I never told him to stop, I never even moved. And I am so angry at him for going against everything he said but I'm so much more furious with myself for letting it happen. I can't bear for anyone to touch me now, especially on my stomach. And I feel like I'm overreacting because there are people who have actually been raped and I am whining over just being touched too much. I feel terrible and scared. I don't understand the scared part but every time I see him at school I can't breathe exactly right and I feel a horrible urge to run away. Please don't be afraid to tell me if this is my fault. I deserve the punishment for my actions. Thank you for reading this, I just wanted to tell someone.


Hi Maia - sorry this happened and no this isn't your fault. Since you're on the naive, reserved side you probably couldn't stick up for yourself and probably felt conflicted - meaning you thought he was so nice and was surprised by his actions. What you can learn from this is, how to use your voice and assert yourself next time if this were happen .....hopefully never.

Regarding why this bothers you, even though others go through worse - well let me share what happened to me when I was 13. My sisters husband tried to mess with me but thank God I got away.....but this still bothers me to this day even though he grabbed me and kissed me only.

The young man who did this to you, gained your trust and took his time to groom you. Often victims of rape / assault freeze and find it hard to react...similar to how children feel when they're molested. Its normal to feel uncomfortable around him. You might feel better getting help from a counselor at school. One thing I highly recommend is learning basic self defense, which also includes being comfortable verbally sticking up for yourself. This is your body and a person needs permission to touch you. You didn't do anything wrong, but you can learn to be stronger in the event you need it someday. I hope this helps and best of luck.

You probably were in a small state of shock when this happened and that's why you didn't speak. Just tell him next time you see him that what happened before web he was tickling you in appropriately was something you don't want, and if he can't respect that then you won't hang out with him anymore.

Hi Maia – first of all, you have not done anything wrong. Secondly, you do certainly do not need to be punished in any respect.

Okay, so you were naive. This guy told you what you wanted to hear so you would trust him even more – grooming – as Bella has said. Learn from the experience, you need to be assertive in situations like that, it can certainly go too far too quick. Don’t place yourself into that situation if you can’t control it. It doesn’t matter if a guy you meet goes to Church or not, going to Church does not always instil honesty, integrity and respect.

You must ask yourself, and answer yourself honestly though – did you not say ‘no’ or protest because you may have been curious yourself, or was it because you were genuinely in shock and did not know how to react? At 16 there is nothing wrong with being curious as long as you are in control of the situation and know when to stop. There is nothing to feel guilty about, but from what I can gather from your post perhaps you would be made to feel guilty by the people around you? Some guys will try it on with you and see how far they can get before you say ‘no’ or ‘stop’. Unfortunately at your age, there will be many guys out there who just want your friendship to try and get into your pants. Also though, there will also be guys out there who will want you as a genuine friend and respect you, and won’t do anything that you do not want to.

Sometimes it is difficult to try and determine whether someone is genuine or not, but I am sure you have learned from this experience. You have absolutely no reason to feel guilty. When the right guy and the right moment comes along, you will not mind being touched on your stomach, if being touched is what you want.

As far as this guy is concerned, I think you should cool it off and not hang out alone with him. If he asks why, tell him that you don’t trust him and do not want to spend time alone together.

I think you feel scared for several reasons: you were not in control of a situation that could have gone much further; you are venturing into unknown territory and do not know how to react; you have feelings of guilt because of what other people will think of you especially your parents; you have been brought up with a strict protocol of right and wrong and you feel as if you are doing bad things. When you see this guy at school you have these feelings of anxiety that make you want to run away.

Okay, so learn how to be assertive – practice speaking out when in the company of your friends and expressing your opinion. When something affects how you feel, express yourself. Let others know how you feel. Practice saying ‘no’ or ‘I do not want to’ or ‘yes, I would like that’. As Bella suggests, learn self defence, this will give you much more confidence. Don’t get into personal situations that you will not be able to control. Remember that a lot of guy’s intentions is to get into your pants and some will say and do anything to get there.

Anyway, chill. You have nothing to feel guilty about.

Take care, best wishes.

First of all I want to tell you to not blame yourself! You have every right to feel the way you do. And by that I mean angry at him. Him touching you was wrong. And just because you didn't tell him to stop does not make what he did Ok. You are left feeling hurt and angry and you were scared to tell him to stop. I have been there. I was searching so hard for love in any way I could find it and I hated who I was. I don't want you to hate who you are! Please believe me when I say you did nothing wrong. Always trust your gut. If it felt wrong, it was. Just because he didn't rape you doesn't mean he didn't violate you. He did. I would suggest talking to a therapist to help you deal with your feelings. They can help you learn from this and deal with your feelings. And to also set boundaries and be able to say no. Can you talk to your parents? This was in no way your fault. Please know that.