Content note: I talk about sexual violence but try to avoid going into lots of detail.
‘My friend was forced into giving a blowjob when she didn’t want to. I feel bad that I didn’t protect her. I’m worried about her and how can I support her?’
I’ve found a new way to do videos, so here’s me giving an answer.
In my answer I say.
The only person that should feel bad is the attacker.
We shouldn’t be put in the situation of having to say no or get out of situations. How consensual sex should be.
You couldn’t have stopped her from going (sounded pretty chill). Also why should you? The thing to work on here is how you can empower each other and protect each other whilst also not hiding from risks entirely.
When someone has gone through something non-consensual is to bring in more and more consent. So giving options about what you do together, respecting their choices, not negging her or persuading her into doing things. So don’t question her about her future choices or prevent her from doing things, but offer your support.
Chat about whether you can help her report this guy, or to speak to a local sexual assault service, or to see whether there’s any counselling she could access. You could also see this is as a way for you to both do some excellent sex and relationships education. Use this to empower you both to do some activism. Teach your friends about consent and chat about it with each other. Talk about sexism and power.
Also try to say how important she is to you. Perhaps if she is a hopeless romantic it’s because she feels she is missing a lot of other things in her life. Maybe you can do some of the kinds of things that people do in romantic relationships with her. Romance isn’t just about sex (just as sex isn’t just about romance). Dates. Nice messages. Checking in. Celebrating each other. Putting your phone down when you’re with them.
That’s it! If you have any questions go here.
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© Justin Hancock, 2022
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Justin Hancock has been a trained sex and relationships educator since 1999. In that time he’s taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. He’s a member of the World Association for Sexual Health.