Was I Molested By My Cousin?

Published: November 11, 2013
Dear Was I Molested By My Cousin?,

was I molested by my cousin? I think i was about five when my 14 year old cousin watching me undress, and touching me inappropriately. for five years this went on, every time i saw him, every summer. But I didn't want to say "no" cause he would be mad at me. what is this called? and what should I do?

Dear Was I Molested By My Cousin?,

If your cousin was touching you in any kind of sexual way from the age of 5-10, then this would be considered child sexual abuse.

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), child sexual abuse can include:

  • Fondling
  • Obscene phone calls
  • Exhibitionism
  • Masturbation
  • Intercourse
  • Oral or Anal sex
  • Prostitution
  • Pornography
  • Any other sexual conduct that is harmful to a child’s mental, emotional, or physical welfare

According to RAINN, child sexual abuse:

  • May consist of a single incident or many acts over a long period of time.
  • Abuse is more often perpetrated by someone known to the child.
  • Abuse may escalate over time, particularly if the abuser if a family member.

It is common for young children not to resist the abuse or tell anyone because they fear the anger of the person who is abusing them or worry nobody will believe them. But that doesn’t change the fact that the child is still being abused. It also does NOT make the abuse the child’s fault in any way.

TeenHealthFX thinks that it would be helpful for you to tell your parents about the abuse and to meet with a mental health professional with experience working with people who have dealt with child sexual abuse. Children who have been sexually abused often end up dealing with emotional and behavioral issues – so it is important for them to have the support and help they need.

You can contact the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), 24 hours, 7days a week for help and information. You can search for a local counseling center on their website or use their online hotline.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.