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How do I tell my boyfriend I was raped? | Mariella Frostrup

Jul 2nd, 2015 by

A 15-year-old girl wants to tell her boyfriend about a sexual assault in her past. Mariella Frostrup says she must first get professional help…
If you have a dilemma, send a brief email to mariella.frostrup@observer.co.uk

The dilemma This is easier for me to do than to tell someone who I see everyday. I’m 15 and I was raped when I was 11 by three boys who went to the same school as me. They cornered me and hit me over and over. One of them even threatened to kill me. I had to tell my parents I just had a bad day in gym class. Now my current boyfriend wants to be closer and I don’t know if he means sex. I wouldn’t have sex anyway, because I don’t believe in optional premarital sex, being a Catholic. I can’t even give people high fives any more because it feels like I’m going to be hit and I can’t kiss him because it makes me uneasy. He is special to me. He’s someone who can protect me and respects me. He understands I need space sometimes and I don’t want to lose him. I know it sounds silly, but we even have plans to go to the same college. I just don’t know how to tell my boyfriend about this.

Mariella replies Thank you for trusting me with this sad story. I’m so sorry you’ve had to carry such a difficult secret around with you for four years without feeling you could share it and thereby lessen your enormous emotional burden. You hopefully know you have nothing at all to be ashamed of and no reason to be embarrassed talking about that experience. It’s easy for me to say, and probably almost impossible for you to comprehend, how much sympathy and support lies within arms’ reach of you.

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