If you have been sexually assaulted please contact your nearest Centre Against Sexual Assault. In Victoria, phone 1800 806 292. In the rest of Australia phone 1800 RESPECT

Did the sexual assault affect my sexuality?

This is a common and very normal question and concern for young people.

It is important to know that sexual assault can happen to anyone, both males and females, young or older. Sexual assault can cause some confusing feelings or questions in people about how their sexuality and or sexual orientation may have changed.

Your sexuality is about who you’re attracted to sexually and romantically.

It is normal to worry if you aren’t sure about your sexuality. Being a teenager is a time for experimenting and finding what works for you, this can be affected after experiencing a sexual assault.

For example, a young person may begin to wonder whether they are gay/same sex attracted if they were assaulted by someone of the same gender. You may also question whether the sexual assault is the reason you are same-sex attracted. The causes of our sexuality are complex, and nothing that happens to you can make you straight or gay. You are who you are!

Adolescence is a time of big change and development, physically, emotionally and sexually. It is also a time when you may be experimenting with your sexuality. This means that your memories about the sexual assault may resurface, and you may find yourself thinking about it more. This is all very normal.

You may feel nervous, unsure or worried about your sexuality after a sexual assault. Give yourself time to heal, talk to a counsellor about any worries you may have.

Myths about sexual assault and gender also add to these worries. For example, there are myths that the only men who are sexually assaulted are gay men, or the assault makes you gay. In fact, anyone can be sexually assaulted, regardless of their sexuality.

It is important to seek support and help from an experienced counsellor who can help you work through any worries that you may have.

Links

If you don't want to talk to the police you can report anonymously at Sexual Assault Report Anonymously

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