Alex's Answer

Is it sexual abuse if I like it

Your Question

Hi. I’m the girl who asked the “should we tell mum” question. But I have another question. Is it sexual abuse if I like it? Because when my mum goes to work, I can’t wait to get my hands on my step-dad too. So, is it abuse if I like it?

Answer

Hi there, thank you for reaching out to us.
 
Firstly, it was brave of you to reach out to us about this. We understand that taking about abuse can be very difficult, so well done for seeking out reassurance. It seems like you’re grappling with conflicting feelings regarding your understanding of sexual abuse and your own experiences.
 
It’s crucial that you receive the help and support you deserve. We’re sorry to hear that you’re keeping this a secret from your mum. Your mum has a responsibility to protect you, and if she’s unaware of what’s happening between you and your stepdad, it’s important to find a way to communicate with her. Despite any initial upset she may feel, there are people who can assist both of you. Remember, you’re not alone in this.
 
Feeling confused in such situations is understandable, especially when the person involved is a family member whom you trust.
 
There are several important factors to consider. In Ireland, the age of consent is 17, which means engaging in sexual activity before that age is against the law. Respecting these legal boundaries is essential to ensure everyone’s safety. While exploring intimacy and relationships is natural, it’s vital to prioritise safety, consent, contraception, and emotional readiness. Websites like B4uDecide.ie offer reliable information and resources to help you make informed choices.
 
A good next step could be confiding in someone you trust, whether it’s a friend, a teacher, another family member, or your GP. Additionally, if you ever feel unsafe at home, you can always call emergency services at 999 or 112.
 
It’s crucial that the abuse stops, and your well-being is prioritised. If you don’t feel comfortable confiding in someone you know, there are professional services like Túsla (www.tusla.ie/services/child-protection-welfare/) that can help protect you and keep you safe.
 
You might also find it useful to contact us here in Childline. You could talk to Childline about this and help you figure out options that might work for you. Childline offer a free non-judgemental support and are open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Our freephone number is 1800 66 66 66 or if you prefer you could use our web chat on www.childline.ie (click on the orange Live Chat button/tab).  
 
We hope you find this information helpful, and please feel free to reach out to us anytime you need support.
 
Take care of yourself and remember, you don’t have to face anything alone,
 
Alex

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