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Information Regarding Sexual Abuse Toward Young People & Strategies for Resisting Abuse No! means NO! in every language!

This pamphlet is intended to inform you about how to recognize inappropriate sexual advances or sexual abuse so you do not become a victim. While on exchange, it can be difficult to under- stand family and cultural behaviors in a different country. And while sharing affection is one of the nicest things in the world,

it is possible that someone will show you affection in a manner that is inappropriate or makes you uncomfortable.

If you feel uncomfortable due to attention you are receiving, physical or otherwise, tell that person to STOP! Do not tolerate such behavior! If the offender does not stop, leave the location immediately and call your Amicus Representative, a trusted adult or the Director of Amicus.

YOUR BODY BELONGS TO YOU!

You have the right to say NO! It is always OK to say NO.

Trust your intuition! Follow your best judgment; trust your gut.

Your body is yours! You determine the boundaries for your body. You decide how, when, where and by whom you can be touched.

Talk about things and ask for help! You decide with whom to talk about inappropriate behavior or sexual misconduct that you have experienced. There is always an adult at Amicus who can help you. You might also choose to talk with another trusted adult at home or school.

Keeping secrets—good or bad? It is not wrong to talk to a trusted adult if you are feeling uncomfort- able. If the offender makes a threat saying...”if you tell,” this is a sure sign you need to tell a trusted adult.

It is not your fault! The abuser is the one responsible. It is not your fault. Do not believe the lie that you are to blame.

What is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse can include different kinds of actions such as:

  • Being the object of suggestive looks or comments
  • Being made to kiss someone
  • Touching private parts of the body
  • Being made to engage in unwanted sex or sexual acts
  • Being made to look at pornography
  • Other behaviors that make you uncomfortable and continue after you have asked him/her to stop.

Perpetrator Strategies

Listed below are some tactics a perpetrator might use: Ignoring resistance:

  • The perpetrator disregards or ignores the words or actions of the victim when resisting advances.
  • Isolation: Beware of a friendship that discourages contact with other people, including other students, Amicus students, and/or family members in order to deliberately create isolation.
  • Intensifying the relationship: The relationship is intensified in order to establish a supposed equality between the perpetrator and the victim. For example, the perpetrator may begin by sharing confidences or problems in his/her life, resulting in the victim breaking Amicus or family rules or becoming jealous of other relationships.
  • Seduction: Emotional devotion, kindness, tenderness, giving gifts, words of affirmation or simulated love might increase in frequency or intensity.
  • Keeping the victim silent: The intense relationship is used to impose a sense of responsibility and guilt on the victim in order to keep him or her quiet. This can happen through threats to report rule breaking or to get the student sent home early. You should not fear the consequences of talking with an adult about any situation that is inappropriate or makes you uncomfortable.

Where to Find Help

In your country:

Your Amicus Representative, who conducted your information meeting, personal interview, or orientation is a helpful resource.

In the United States:

You and/or your parents should: Contact your local Amicus Mentor/Rep, and/or Contact the Young Life Amicus Director, Michele Sbrana 925-270-7185 (call or text) or via email at msbrana@younglife.org

Important...It is mandatory to report sexual abuse to the authorities. This means that if a person finds out about an act of sexual abuse, or an allegation of abuse, he/she is liable if it is not reported and puts the student and the exchange program at risk.

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