Love Letters: When A Relationship Hurts

Love Letters

‘Love Letters’ is a Petal + Sass blog feature that regularly asks a group of diverse women in their 20’s and 30’s about their experiences with health, sex, emotional wellness, body image, college, careers – and what they wish they had known themselves as teenagers. Visit the Love Letters’ To My Former Self page to learn more about the contributors.

Question Posed: What would you advise a girl who found herself in a dangerous relationship – either physically or emotionally abusive? How would you advise her friends to better support her in this situation?

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Survivors of Sexual Assault: You Are Not Ruined

survivors of sexual assault

If you have experienced sexual assault, it is important to realize you are not alone, and you are not ruined. Your body is yours, and only you can decide what to truly and willingly share with another person. You may not always receive this message in school or from the media, but your choices are important – and you are still a whole person worthy of respect, personal decision making, and intimacy.

If you have endured the physical and emotional trauma associated with unwanted sexual contact, assault and rape, unfortunately you must also deal with conflicting societal messages. Broken self perception and diminished self worth is a long lasting side effect of sexual abuse, particularly in a society that condones abstinence-only education, creates a culture of slut shaming, and has a lack of physical and mental health resources. The system is broken; you are not.

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Love Letters: High School Hierarchy & Finding Your “Lobsters”

Love Letters

‘Love Letters’ is a Petal + Sass blog feature that regularly asks a group of diverse women in their 20’s and 30’s about their experiences with health, sex, emotional wellness, body image, college, careers – and what they wish they had known themselves as teenagers. Visit the Love Letters’ To My Former Self page to learn more about the contributors.

Question posed: What “cliques” existed when you were in high school? Did you belong to one (whether you wanted to be in it or not?) What advice would you give to teens about “popularity” (or conversely, unpopularity) in high school?

Love Letters: Sexual Pressure, Harassment and Rape

Love Letters

‘Love Letters’ is a Petal + Sass blog feature that regularly asks a group of diverse women in their 20’s and 30’s about their experiences with health, sex, emotional wellness, body image, college, careers – and what they wish they had known themselves as teenagers. Visit the Love Letters’ To My Former Self page to learn more about the contributors.

Question posed: Were you ever sexually harassed or pressured into engaging in sexual activity that you were uncomfortable with as a teenager? If so, how did you handle the situation? What would you advise a young person who was being pressured or harassed today?

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Relationship Violence and the Teenage Girl

Abusive relationships

A recent issue of seventeen Magazine highlighted an important- and growing- issue that young women are facing with alarming frequency; relationship violence. Chances are, you or a close friend of yours have been in a relationship with a partner where the power imbalance has been way off: from controlling how often you text, to fat shaming or even threatening or acting out physical abuse.

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