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.