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National Helpline for LGBT+ Victims and Survivors of Abuse and Violence0800 999 5428

Email help@galop.org.uk

Home Forums Looking for support? ‘Is it abuse?’ Did I consent? Reply To: Did I consent?



Thank you so much for your post. You’ve done the right thing in talking about how you feel. I’m very sorry you had this experience, it sounds like it was very difficult for you and a year on it is still on your mind and having an impact on you.

You talked about coercion – being pestered into sex, and finding it easier to get it over with than keep saying no. Persuading a person using a tactic such as a negative mood change if you don’t do what I want, could be understood to be coercion. It sounds like when you had sex it brought up a lot of emotions which was expressed as panic attacks or crying. It sounds like your body felt attacked. It is never OK to make someone have sex when they don’t want it.

You’ve done the right thing to put yourself on a waiting list for counselling, you are deserving of speaking to a specialist therapist who will understand how you feel and help you explore the situation. In the mean time you might find this free e-graphic novel helpful as it is about a young person who has experienced sexual abuse. It is called ‘The courage to be me’. The author also runs a pre recorded online retreat for people who have had harmful sexual experiences which you can find it on the same page as the e-book. There is also a therapy directory which is for all people who are gender or sexuality diverse http://www.pinktherapy.com/en-gb/home.aspx which you can find private therapists on and you can look for someone who has experience of working with someone who has had sexually harmful experiences. With a therapist you could also talk through your concern about not being believed as this sounds unfair and upsetting.

I understand that consent can feel confusing. You might have seen this little video which uses tea as a metaphor for sexual consent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8 It has quite a good way of making some of the situations related to sex that sometimes people say are unclear a lot clearer. But basically sex is about doing what you both want.

Galop has produced this resource to explain consent more https://galop.org.uk/resource/consent-for-young-people/ which you might also find useful.

You have done the right thing to talk about this. Keep going.

The Helpline Team