For some reason, certain people think they have the right to do whatever they like to another person. Those individuals cause a great deal of damage to their victims, not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally, especially when it comes to sexual abuse. New Mexico residents who survived such acts may hesitate to come forward due to fear, shame and guilt, but they do not have to go through this alone.

It may be easy for someone else to say that you have nothing to be ashamed of, but it is true. The person who abused you is the one who should be ashamed. You did not “ask for it” or somehow make the other person take advantage of you. Everyone has choices, and the other person made the choice to violate your privacy and your body.

In many cases, the perpetrator is someone who had or even still has some authority over you. Perhaps the individual was your boss, your teacher, your family member or someone else who has influence over your life. You may feel as though you cannot come forward because you fear retaliation or other repercussions depending on the situation. You have rights, and you should not fear asserting them. Coming forward and helping make the abuser accountable could also help in your healing process.

At this time more than ever, you need people around you that you can trust. It may seem as though you are short on people like that right now, but you may end up surprised by the support you receive. One source of support that you may not consider right away is an attorney who can help you receive some justice.