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Raped? My Responsibility?

Listen, before you jump all over the title you need to understand what I am saying here.  It's like a car accident that isn't your fault, but yet repairing your car now is.  You have to call the insurance company.  You have to do some paperwork.  You have to talk to your parents and have the car taken in.  Listen to what I am saying here.

Also, I am sorry.  This should not happen to anyone and it breaks my heart.

When I come to a school community for a full day it's crazy what I hear.  On one hand I hear about the students that are on the school's radar, but the other hand I now have more students to add to the school's radar.  I never want to speak, leave, and now the school has pieces to be picked up.  However, when I come to a school community there are situations that unfold and become pieces we have to deal with.  I feel strongly that a school has a responsibility to the wellbeing of our children.  Education is bigger than knowledge, textbooks, statistics, and writing papers.  Educating our young people is about preparing them to grow up and make something of themselves and to learn to give back making the world a better place to live.

After I speak, I get a lot of young people wanting to speak with me.  It's a rotating door, one after another, all day long and sometimes into the later hours or early morning hours of the night.

I have dealt with everything from rape to sexual molestation.  From murder to a mother sleeping with a 13 year old's boyfriend.  I've dealt with divorce, pornographic addiction, eating disorders, drug and alcohol addiction and so much more.  I've seen this from 6th graders to college students and even school administrators and parents sharing with me their personal stories.  

I'm proud that students feel comfortable telling me things that nobody else knows.  The school doesn't know.  Parents don't know.  The therapist doesn't know,  Now I know.  Why me?  Well, I hear it a lot.  Many teens feel comfortable sharing with me.  They're like, "You seem really cool.  You get us.  I feel I can talk to you."  And, my favorite, "It's easy to talk to you because I know I'll never see you again."  Ah, the truth has spoken.

I do feel our young people want help, but they don't know how to ask for it or they're ashamed.

In the case of rape and this video here, let me tell you something.  No is NO.  If a young lady says, "NO."  It's no.  NO.  If a young man says, "NO."  It's no.  NO.  There should be no questions asked.  No is NO.

However, this isn't the case many of times.  Did you know that 1 out of 4 young ladies by time they're 18 years old will be raped or sexually abused?  Staggering. Sad.  Alarming.  Disgraceful. 

I have a couple of thoughts I want to share about this:

1.  No person should ever put their hands on someone without their consent.

2.  If this happens to you, it's NOT your fault and you should go to a trusted adult immediately.  Please.  It's the right thing to do.  Go to the police.  Make a report.

3.  Do not put yourself in positions where potentially something could go wrong.  This is for all things in life.  No matter how much you think you trust a person or persons.  Always protect yourself and think ahead.

4.  It's NOT your fault again and this should not define you.  A professional therapist can help you process what has happened.  Can help you move forward through the whole process and come out healthy on the other side putting this behind you.  It's OK to ask for help.  

5.  Press charges to the full extent of the law because if this happens to you it could easily happen to another person as well.

I don't want to get to ahead of myself in what I am saying.  I am really passionate and sometimes my words can be taken wrong.  I am sorry if this is the case here.  It just breaks my heart when RAPE can alter a person's ability to think, reason, and act for the rest of their lives.  I hear about it all too often.

As with all things, therapy is OK.  Talking to one person is healthy and I wish more people saw the benefits.

Jeff Yalden is a mental health speaker and celebrity life coach who specializes in suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Jeff is also the founder and Executive Director of The Jeff Yalden Foundation, Inc. The Foundation’s mission is to prevent suicide, improve community mental health, and shatter the stigma of mental health by initiating a positive movement to speak up and reach out.

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