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  • Articles, Dating, Mental Health, Relationships, Sexual Health, Tough Questions

    Nightmares for Memories

    CONTENT WARNING: This article contains information about sexual assault, which may be triggering. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

    Nightmares for Memories

    An Ugly Truth

    Some things are just engraved in your mind. No matter how hard you try to forget, you never will. Everyone has memories they can’t diminish. These memories feel more like nightmares. For some, the word “rape” and “sexual assault” are just sad things that happen if you’re not careful. They know it happens but don’t pay much attention to it – it’s one of those things you think will never happen to you.

    Hopefully, it won’t, but if it does, it will change your perspective on everything. At that moment it was like I had lost all control of my limbs, my entire body completely shut down. I went from saying stop and yelling no at the top of my lungs to just staring dead off into space. You can’t do anything, you just are helpless to the situation.

    After, you see everything in a different light.

    You question everything you did – from what you said, to what you were wearing. You feel as if it was your fault. It is not. But for me, the worst part was the way I felt after. I felt used and powerless. You jump anytime someone touches you and cry if someone hugs you. You can’t breathe when you hear their name and have a panic attack if you’re in the same room as them. To put it bluntly, it sucks.

    Although it was one of the worst experiences of my life, it taught me a lot of things.

    One, it is not okay for me to let people take advantage of me. Not all guys have good intentions, do not choose to see only good in people and be blind to the bad. Take both into account when choosing who you let into your life.

    Two, pick and choose your “friends” wisely. I was sexually assaulted by one of the people closest to me.

    Three, know how to say stop. Don’t let people overpower you just because you don’t want to be rude. If you’re uncomfortable with someone hugging you – tell them. Because a hug can quickly turn into something worse.

    Four, don’t be afraid to talk about it, it helps. They won’t think you are overreacting. In fact, they’ll most likely tell you the opposite. They’ll help.

    Five, it gets easier, time helps. In the end, you’ll be a stronger person than you were before. Like the song says “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

    If you feel you’ve been a victim of sexual assault, please visit one of the following organizations for help. 

    Visit to chat one-on-one with a trained RAINN support specialist, any time 24/7 or call 1-800-656-HOPE

    National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-4673

    Crisis Center Birmingham, Alabama,

    24-HOUR HOTLINE: 205-323-7273

  • Dating, Depression, School, Stress, TRENDING

    February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

    Girlspring is Supporting Dating Violence Awareness!

    February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! Teen DV Month (sometimes called TDVAM) is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it.

    Dating violence is more common than many people think.

    One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults.

    Help us spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts!

    In February 2017, loveisrespect will be celebrating its 10th anniversary! So, we thought we’d get back to basics. Our theme for Teen DV Month 2017 is Love is . . . Respect. We’ll be talking about what respect means and why it’s so important in a healthy relationship – online and off. We hope you’ll join the conversation!

  • Body Image, Bullying, Dating

    Love is Setting Boundaries: When Boundaries Aren’t Respected

    In a relationship, both people have the right to set their own boundaries AND have those boundaries respected, no matter what. But what happens if someone crosses a line? How do you deal with it? Here’s what to consider if…

    …Your Relationship Is Safe:

    In a healthy relationship, open communication is crucial. If your partner does something that upsets you or makes you uncomfortable, you have a right to address it with them. If you don’t have any safety concerns and you feel like your relationship is in a pretty healthy place, having a conversation with your partner about a boundary violation could be really helpful. Depending on the situation, you can address it as soon as it happens, or you can take some time to think about what you want to say. It might even help to write down what you want to say before talking with your partner.

    For example, let’s imagine you and your partner are hanging around the house and your partner slaps your butt as you’re walking past. If that makes you uncomfortable, in that moment you could say, “Hey, I’m not ok with that,” and take your conversation from there. But if you and your partner are out to dinner with family and your partner does something that makes you uncomfortable, you might feel like it’s best to wait until the two of you are alone to bring it up. Either way, you do have a right to say something to your partner.

    When discussing the situation, use “I” statements (ex. “I feel this way when…”), and talk with your partner about why the boundary was crossed and any steps you can both take to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Being able to hold each other accountable is part of building a healthy relationship.

    …Your Relationship Might Not Be Safe:

    If your partner is repeatedly crossing your boundaries, they aren’t willing to discuss boundaries with you, or you notice that your partner is guilt-tripping you for even having boundaries, your relationship is likely very unhealthy and could become abusive if your partner’s behaviors continue and escalate.

    If you are in an unhealthy relationship and a boundary is crossed, having a conversation with your partner may not be a safe option for you. You do have the right to be firm and clear about your boundaries, because you always deserve to have your boundaries respected, but it is also important to consider your safety. You might talk to a trusted friend or family member or chat with a loveisrespect peer advocate, and try thinking about whether or not this is a relationship in which you can feel safe and respected. It’s important to remember that if someone doesn’t respect you, they won’t respect your boundaries, and vice versa.

    You might also consider documenting any instances of harmful or abusive behavior in case you decide to file a protective order or get legal help in the future. Having your thoughts or feelings written or saved somewhere where your partner can’t access them may also work as a reminder of times you were hurt or major boundaries were crossed, in case you ever start to question yourself or believe the abuse was your fault (hint: it never is).

    …Your Relationship Is Definitely Not Safe:


    Maybe you’ve realized that your relationship is abusive and your partner isn’t a safe person to talk to about your boundaries. What now? If your partner isn’t allowing for you to be safe, it might be time to consider leaving the relationship. Breaking up can be really difficult, especially when feelings are involved, and if your relationship is abusive breaking up might also be dangerous. You have a right to make your safety a top priority, so it’s important to have a plan in place for how you can break up safely or stay safe in the meantime. You might talk to someone in your support system about what’s going on.

    We recognize that your safety is the top priority and you are the best person to decide what is right for you. If you want to talk about your plan to stay safe whether you want to stay in a relationship or you feel ready to leave. To talk to an advocate, call 1-866-331-9474, text loveis to 22522 or visit to chat via our website 24/7!

  • Dating, Relationships

    How Healthy Is Your Relationships

    Everyone deserves a healthy relationship! Don’t settle for anything less!

    Is my relationship healthy?

    Healthy Relationships
    The person I am with:

    • Listens to what I have to say.
    • Respects and supports my decisions.
    • Encourages me to have a life of my own.
    • Is my cheerleader!
    • Wants what is best for me.
    • Does not pressure me about sex.
    • Likes my friends and family.
    • Would never try to hurt me.

    Unhealthy Relationships
    The person I am with:

    • Puts me down, calls me names or constantly criticizes me.
    • Tries to control what I do.
    • Gets angry when I don’t drop everything for them.
    • Makes me feel ashamed.
    • Makes me feel like no one else would want me.
    • Pressures or forces me into having sex.
    • Tries to keep me from seeing my friends and family.
    • Grabs, pushes, shoves me or hurts me in some way.

    From: UT Teen Health

  • Body Image, Bullying, Dating, Depression, Relationships

    It’s Toxic Girls!: 3 ways to deal with and get over with toxic relationships

    “Boys, boys, boys!”, every girl has the same problem nowadays, and if I’m not wrong each one of those girls out there, want an amazingly charming partner for themselves. But, let’s face it, not every single guy is worth your precious time and that expensive makeup you’re wearing right now, girls. I know every girl wants a perfect, loving and caring one, and every time you look at a cute couple making out in the hallways, just one thing crosses your mind, “Dear God, grant me one”, but unfortunately, all that glitters is not gold. Maybe the guy you recently found loves you enough and maybe he loves you quite “a lot”.

    But sometimes it doesn’t always turn out to be what we wish for. Toxic relationships are one of the greatest yet, uncontrollable contentions in our society. Maybe you, yourself are bounded and imprisoned in a toxic relationship. It could be anyone. Life’s unfair sometimes, a lot of times. But, it’s our choice to make that life worth living for. There is just a little line between love and hate, but there’s far more thinner line between love and obsession. Love is something you live for, you dream of, it can make your life easier, perfect and magical at the same time. If, you don’t feel these things and your life is getting harder and harder, and more of a mess then, you need to get out of that relationship. Toxic relationships are just like drugs- can’t get rid of them easily, folks! Here are 3 uniquely amazing ways of identifying a toxic relationship and getting rid of it.


      Infatuation, the first stage of a toxic relationship. Mostly the person you love is more likely to fall in love with you, but sometimes it’s just your looks or those crazy, stupid hormones, which tend to be the cause of this passionate attraction. He might love you for your countless perfections, your external beauty, or maybe your physical appearance. Yet, love is something a lot more complicated than that. It is not merely a bond with your perfections or your beauty, it’s a lot about your imperfections, and mostly your flaws. You love someone not because of their immaculate personality but because of those little flaws, which you find cute enough to make you go crazy about them. Infatuation is just immaturity, a mere attraction towards someone for their physical appearance. For instance, if your boyfriend tells you that you are beautiful then, the first question to ask him is that will he be by your side even if you get ugly, fat, old, repugnant, or hideous? Will his “proclaimed love” be the same for you? And trust me, if he thinks even slightly longer on that one then it’s time for you to let go and move on, and it’ll be far easier to get rid of a person like that at an earlier stage than crying about him the rest of your lives.

    • CONTROL:

      Control is a major issue of toxic relationships. Your partner will surely want you to isolate yourself from your closer ones and spend all of the time with him, which is absolutely not a acceptable. A true relationship is something which will make you shine your inner self and will force you into doing and achieving greater things in life rather than wasting your whole entire life. If your boyfriend is not okay with what you love to do, who you truly are, and most of all, refuses to see your true self then trust me, this is surely not the one you’re looking for.


      A jealous boyfriend can look cute and maybe you like your boyfriend being extremely over possessive, extra impulsive and highly over-protective about you, making you think that they love you so much that they can’t even control themselves. After all, it’s all love’s about or……is it? not quite. Jealousy’s good but not when your ‘bae’ gets extra jealous with someone you are just friends with. Has it ever happened, that your partner suspects you of having relationships with other guys? Or has he ever tried to look up for things against you, which will eventually make you look guilty, even when you’re totally fine with them? If yes, then this is something you should start to worry about. Because, without trust a relation is baseless and extremely irrelevant. It’s possible that maybe your boyfriend has dealt with some serious problems in the past that he’s afraid to trust someone or fall in love with someone again, just due to their previous experience. If that’s that, then go right away and talk it out with your partner. Communicating frequently and interacting with each other about personal and private issues can surely save your relationship. Maybe, you can fix your loved one back to normal, once again. But, on the other hand if you are unable to do so, then maybe it’s time for you to part your ways as quickly as possible, because jealousy can cause root problems and then a person can act impulsive towards you.

  • Articles, Dating

    Ambitious Girls, Look Ahead!

    Being ambitious means being successful is your number one goal, but being successful in high school could mean a lot of different things to different people. It might mean getting good grades, discovering your passions, excelling at sports, or it might even mean being popular.

    The trouble with feeling like you have to be popular to be successful is that sometimes the things one has to do to be considered “popular” damages their ability to be successful in the future. My own experience with the popular kids at my high school is that they don’t prioritize making good grades or helping others and focus more on their own social standing and partying than anything else. If you wanted to be like the popular people at my high school you’d have to care less about grades or extracurriculars and more about going to parties and doing things that are dangerous and can damage your body. I have seen the negative effects on not only a person’s academic performance as she began to go out more and more but her reputation as well. And I, like many, have experienced a friend suppress her views on issues that are at her core because it meant that she would be less likable.

    There is a strong argument to be made that having a large group of friends and taking some time away from studies to de-stress in high school are key to staying sane and happy in high school, but one has to know when they’ve taken it too far. Could the time and effort spent trying to befriend and fit in with the popular kids be better spent doing something else, maybe something that ensures your success in the future instead of something that endangers it like drugs and alcohol?

    My message to ambitious girls out there is to look ahead whenever you feel pressure to fit into a certain group.

    Failure is a hard thing for ambitious girls to feel but just because you don’t dress, act, or think a certain way doesn’t mean you’re failing! It means you’re different and Thank God you are because if you weren’t you wouldn’t be on this amazing website reading this article. You have to move, change to make; so don’t buy into the thought that you have to look or act a certain way. These feelings are just distracting you from your real job; changing the world!