I’m 15, and for the past 3 years my uncle has touched me sexually. How do I bring this up? I love my uncle and don’t want him to get in trouble. I just want it to stop. He is my mother’s brother and also a preacher so I’m afraid no one will believe me.

Thanks for sending your question. As you indicate this is a very difficult situation and is not going to have a simple solution. First, you should know that you are not alone in having this happen to you. Every 9 minutes someone under the age of 18 is sexually assaulted in the United States, this includes all genders.  Often the adult is someone the person knows, and not a stranger. It’s important to know that it is NOT your fault.  It is wrong for your uncle to touch you sexually and you need help to deal with disclosing the story and getting the protection you deserve.  You need to decide the best trusted adult to talk to – your parent, a counselor at school, or your health care provider (HCP).

You are demonstrating bravery just by bringing up this question. If you decide you want to talk to your HCP, you may be able to make the appointment yourself or you can ask your mother to make an appointment with your HCP because you have a health concern. Once you get to your health care provider’s office, make sure to ask your provider to talk one-on-one. Then let them know what’s happening. By law your health care provider will advocate for you to make sure you receive the resources necessary to ensure your safety.

Remember, you are not alone and you have every right to safety and protection.

Here’s a tip on how to bring it up to your health care provider: “Someone is touching me sexually, and I want it to stop. What should I do?”

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