The World Health Organization defines sexual health as “a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality. . .. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination, and violence.” Healthy sexuality involves more than just physical safety. Emotional safety and positive attitudes about sex are also key components.

Sexual abuse survivors usually had their first sexual experience by force, before they could consent or fully understand what was going on. Their sexual rights were violated. These confusing and traumatizing experiences from your past can have a negative impact on your sexual experiences in the present. Knowing your sexual rights will help you have safe, healthy, and fulfilling relationships.

Remember that no one ever has the right to force or coerce you into doing something that you don’t want to. You are in control of your body and your experiences.

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