An extremely thorny subject for me to discuss however, I want to try to help warn girls out there against those who may try to use such tactics,that are basically, forms of sexual exploitation.
How many times has a person be it a friend or online asked you for a photo of yourself? This is otherwise known as ‘Sexting’. They will send you a photo of themselves, and pester you for a photo of yourself. You refuse to send one yet the pressure increases in their coercion tactics because they have sent you several and declare it is only fair you send them one in return. One fully clothed innocent photo will only give way to the next, and the next, and the next… They see their chance in this test of theirs and seize that path in exploiting you further. Where would it all end?
They ask to meet up with you, make you their best friend, their rock. Tell you they like you and make the first move, engineering a sense of love and happiness. Despite your being so guarded due to past experiences and fears of being hurt yet again– they realise this and reassure you they are not like that, tricking you into bringing down your defensive walls. They eventually enter your heart with their charms and constant attention. The intimacy is gradually geared up, making you believe it is all consensual. Any doubts are swayed by illusions and their desire to control and dominate you. They may expect favours or sex in return, without you having any immediate recognition. Except, once they are satisfied and no longer have any need for you, their true colours are shown.
Where would it all end? I ask once more. In heartbreak, of course but the worst kind ever. Weighed down even more so by the losses of confidence, appetites, faith, trust and heightened fear of people – especially those in authority. Depression, withdrawal and mood swings. Disliking shows of affection or invasions of personal space such as being hugged or touched once more, simply because they cannot handle it – it becomes too much. Loss of sleep and/or nightmares. Increasing levels of frustrations and resistance – people are kept at a distance and a degree of aggressiveness is displayed when any personal connections are attempted in order to push them further away. One may even turn to drugs, or more having had potentially their souls destroyed by being built up to mean something so special only to be trampled upon.
These are some of the warning signs associated with not just sexual exploitation and grooming but unfortunately the broader spectrum of exploitation in abuse or neglect also.
Be strong, do not be afraid to speak up or report people for their actions and the consequences of which they are responsible for. My only regret is that I let far too much time pass before I found the confidence and courage to be honest, with myself and others. I most certainly am not willing to lie or cover for any one else.
Please, keep your wits about you and guard your virtues 🙂
~ SJ (Sara Jae)