Dear Alice,

Well, the thing is that I have this boyfriend. He is twenty and I am seventeen. I really like, and am falling in love with, him. We have discussed sex, and he isn't a virgin, and neither am I, but I lied and said I was. I really want to tell him, but I'm afraid he'll get mad. My first time was with a guy who I had a crush on, and we went on a date, and he raped me. In my heart, I'm still a virgin, but, in definition, I am not. Should I tell my boyfriend?

Dear Reader,

Alice supports you in your desire to tell your boyfriend about your rape, and about what it means to you, just as you did here. Alice understands your concern about not wanting to make your boyfriend mad; however, you cannot control anyone else's behavior. If he's angry, or hurt, he has a right to his feelings. Similarly, you have a right to yours. If you are upset, or have unresolved emotions, about what happened to you (and it doesn't matter if it happened a while ago), many resources are available to get the help you need. Is there a counselor at school with whom you feel you could speak? Or, do you know of any counselors in your area with whom you could make an appointment? If not, you can always call a Rape Crisis Hotline, which is often in affiliation with a hospital or medical center -- check your phone book for the number of one in your area. These hotlines are staffed by caring people who have been trained to deal specifically with sexual assault, including rape, and the many issues surrounding it.

Telling someone about yourself is scary, and risky; however, Alice believes that someone you know has a right to know the real you, just as you deserve to be loved for who you are.

Also read Rape survivor needs help with intimate relationships, about a survivor who was also raped when a virgin.

Take care of yourself,


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