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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Tag: abuse

Sep 25

Reproductive Coercion

Posted By iamincontrol | September 25, 2014

birth control pills

Sexual coercion is a term used to describe when someone pressures, forces, or uses manipulation to get someone else to engage in a sexual act that they don’t want to do or are uncertain about doing.  How about reproductive coercion?  Maybe you’ve heard about it, but probably not.  This term is being used to describe behaviors that interfere with a person’s decision about use of contraception or getting pregnant.  It is typically a form of pressure or control that an intimate partner may use related to sexual activities.  For example, a young man may put lots of pressure to have sex without using condoms because it affects his perception of pleasure – regardless of the risk to his partner for an STD or pregnancy.  Another example would be a young woman who tells her boyfriend that she is using birth control but really isn’t because she wants to get pregnant (even if her boyfriend doesn’t).  On the flip side, a guy who wants his girlfriend to get pregnant (even if she doesn’t) may mess with her birth control pills so she is not protected. There are usually two types of reproductive coercion: birth control sabotage (attempts to interfere with use of effective birth control) and pregnancy pressure/coercion (attempts to influence decisions about pregnancy).

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Sep 9

You Are Worth It

Posted By iamincontrol | September 9, 2014

you are worth it
By E

My name is E, and I am a college sophomore. I decided to write a blog post after I was given the opportunity to if I felt encouraged. I thought about it for a while, convinced I wouldn’t have time or would forget, and then decided to share my story. I am not sure if my story will relate to those reading it, but if it does, I hope you feel encouraged or in some way reassured that you are not alone, there are others going through life with you, and there is always a light waiting for you at the end of whatever tunnel you are going through. I am unsure, as I begin to write, whether I am writing for solely the audience of these blogs or partly for myself. I think writing your feelings and expressing the hurts allows you to finally close chapters. So as I write this, I write for myself and I write for you: I hope in some way this can help you, a friend, or maybe myself.

I have always loved people. Pleasing people, making them smile, laugh, or just making them happy. I always had many friends. I was the “goofy friend”; I liked to eat, I liked to laugh. I was never the most popular, most pretty, or most athletic- but I loved the positive attention I got from being funny and happy. Growing up I was heavier. Never to the point where I needed to be on a diet, but “healthy,” as my mom would call my extra weight I had over the other girls and boys in my class. I was overweight until seventh grade when all of a sudden I wasn’t happy with my body. The media became more of something I paid attention to. I noticed I didn’t look like the other girls in my class, and I definitely didn’t look like any of the females glamorized on TV or magazine covers. Within about four months I lost 35 pounds. I gained more friends. I gained more attention. I gained more attention from boys- and I loved it. The only thing I wasn’t continually gaining was weight. My friends and their parents would often comment how thin I looked, asking if I was eating. Some parents even contacted my mom to make sure I was alright. Truthfully, I was much thinner, but I finally felt healthier and I was. When I started to starve myself, limiting meals and calories and busting hundreds of calories in the weight room, that is when I became obsessed with “thinness”.

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Aug 28

Don’t Be a Bystander

Posted By iamincontrol | August 28, 2014

teenage girl
By Kathryn

Within my group of friends, there was this one friend who seemed to have it all together. She excelled in the classroom as well as in sports. She was involved in various clubs and organizations. She was very outgoing and responsible; our classmates and teachers liked her as well. At one time I would have considered her one of my best friends.

During the fall of my senior year of high school, my friend began to date a guy the grade below us. He seemed like a nice guy, a farm boy who caused some trouble, but nothing terrible. My friend seemed happy about her new relationship, and she quickly began to fall in love.

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Jun 26

Controlling Relationship

Posted By iamincontrol | June 26, 2014

controlling relationship
By Taylor

I was in an abusive relationship my freshman year in high school.  When someone thinks of an abusive relationship, they think of someone who has bruises and has physical evidence of abuse.  This was not my case at all.  He had an older brother who was a senior and had a lot of control in the school.  I was pressured into dating this guy and pressured to stay in the relationship.  He sexually abused me after a couple of months of dating.  I knew I should tell someone, but felt like if I did no one at school would believe me.  He made all of the decisions in our relationship and isolated me from everyone; he was extremely possessive and jealous too.

One day I was so fed up with everything that I just texted him and broke it off.  The next day at school he got in my face and demanded a reason.  I simply said I could not take it anymore and to leave me alone.  He acted depressed, and he and his brother tried to make me that way too.  Instead, when people said anything to me about the situation, I told them what really happened.  It felt great, and people did believe me because of how he reacted when I ended it.  Do not be afraid to end it; more people will believe you and realize what was going on than you think!

Some of you may have heard of this website from school or television, but I suggest you take their quiz even if you believe you are in a perfect relationship.

If you are experiencing abuse, there is help.  You can chat with someone at, call 866.331.9474, or text “loveis” to 22522.  Everyone deserves a safe, healthy relationship.

Apr 24

Let the Healing Begin

Posted By iamincontrol | April 24, 2014

By April

No matter how annoying younger siblings can be, we all have that protective big brother/sister instinct in us that comes out when they get hurt. We feel we have to protect them from things in this world that we don’t want them to ever have to experience, and when they do experience them, we feel a sense of failure that cuts deep.

I have a sister who is three years younger than me. We’ve gone through so much together­­. Our biological mother gave us up for adoption after giving birth to me at age 13, and my sister at age 16. This only made my sister and me closer. We got through foster care together and were fortunate to both be adopted by the same family. I was forced to grow up a lot faster and take care of my sister’s needs first. This seems like a huge task for a four year old, but you do what you have to do. Being placed in a good home allowed me to let someone take care of both of us, but there was still that sense of protectiveness in me.

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Jan 30

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

Posted By iamincontrol | January 30, 2014

Did you know that 1 in 3 young people experience dating abuse?  It’s a serious issue that affects lots of people, which is why President Obama has declared February Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

On February 11, you can get involved by wearing ORANGE 4 Love to recognize “Get Respect Day” and to promote the importance of healthy relationships.  Encourage your friends to wear orange with you and spread the message.  Share a pic of you and your friends wearing orange on Instagram or Twitter at #orange4love #teenDVmonth #RespectWeek2014.

Are you in a healthy relationship?  Think about it as you hear what other teens describe as a healthy, loving relationship.

Dating abuse isn’t always being physically hurt by your partner.  Dating abuse can be physical, verbal or emotional, sexual, or digital.  Read these IAMincontrol posts for more info on healthy relationships and teen dating violence, or learn more at

If you are experiencing abuse, there is help.  You can chat with someone at, call 866.331.9474, or text “loveis” to 22522.  Everyone deserves a safe, healthy relationship.

You are in control of raising awareness about teen dating violence.

Jan 28

A World of Hurt

Posted By iamincontrol | January 28, 2014

A world of hurt
By Anonymous

One of the most difficult things that I faced in high school wasn’t bullying or anything like that. I faced the struggle of power and freedom with my parents.

I started dating a guy when I turned 15, and that’s when it all began. Everything started off okay. I was always home by curfew, and he followed my parents’ rules. Then he started demanding more time with me. It got to the point after a few years where it seemed I was always picking him over my family because he always made everything sound better.

It wasn’t until after about 5 years when I truly began to open my eyes and see what my family and my closest friends had been preaching to me about for so long. I realized finally that my relationship was very toxic. I did whatever he wanted to do and on his time. I was afraid of how he would act if I didn’t. He was mentally and emotionally abusive towards me. He changed who I was as a person. I quit talking to my parents.  If they asked me any sort of question that somewhat related to him, I would automatically snap. I did that because I didn’t want to talk about it. In the back of my mind, I knew I needed to get out, but I never knew how to.

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Jan 2

Hotline Round Up

Posted By iamincontrol | January 2, 2014

You never know when you’re going to need to talk to someone.  Today we’ve put together a list of some numbers you might find helpful when you’re going through something.

Teen Line 1-800-443-8336
You can call the Teen Line 24/7 to ask any questions you have about your health or a problem in your life.  They will answer your questions or connect you with someone who can.  You can also chat online with a counselor 8AM-8PM Monday through Friday.

Your Life Iowa1-855-581-8111
This 24-hour, confidential hotline is available to anyone who wants to find information about how to identify and deal with bullying or the topic of suicide. You can also text 85511 3-11PM everyday or chat online.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
This 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Calls are routed to the nearest crisis center in a national network of more than 150 crisis centers.*

The Trevor Lifeline (for GBLTQ Youth)1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4-U-TREVOR)
Providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.*

National Sexual Assault Hotline1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)
Sponsored by the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN). Online Hotline is also available (click the link).*

National Runaway Hotline1-800-786-2929 (RUNAWAY)
24-hour crisis line. It’s anonymous, confidential and free.*

Love is Respect: National Dating Abuse Helpline1-866-331-9474 (TTY 1-866-331-8453)
24-hour help for teens and young adults. Peer advocates are trained to offer support, information and advocacy to those involved in dating abuse relationships as well as concerned parents, teachers, clergy, and others.*

CDC-INFO 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) or TTY 1-888-232-6348
Formerly known as the CDC National STD and AIDS Hotline, counselors at this hotline sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now respond to questions about personal health issues, not just HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Available 24 hours a day, in English and Spanish.*

National STD (STI) Hotline1-800-227-8922
The hotline is available Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm EST. The American Social Health Association website offers information about sexual health, healthy relationships, STIs, and more. Check out – a site developed for teens and their parents.*

Always reach out to someone when you have a problem or just feel like you need to talk.  You are in control of your life.

*Hotline description from

Dec 5

Out of Control

Posted By iamincontrol | December 5, 2013

Teenage girl
By Gina

I’m writing this blog because for a very long time I was NOT in control.  I hope my story will help someone decide to not make the same choices which put me there.

When I was 18, I met the man who would eventually become my husband.  He was sweet and funny, and seemed to think I was amazing! He called me “Beautiful” and “Princess” and was nicer to me than anyone had ever been in my whole life.

For six months we were just friends, because I thought our relationship was so good as it was. I was scared to mess things up by becoming closer.  Eventually I took the plunge.  What I haven’t mentioned is that I really liked to party.  Alcohol tended to make me sick, so I mostly smoked pot.  A lot of pot. It started out just to have a good time, something to do to not be bored. When I was high, everything was interesting, and I could ignore painful emotions.  I used to be very shy, but with weed I was able to open up and share my thoughts, hopes and dreams. Eventually Tom and I moved in together, and I started college.  By this time pot was an indispensable part of my life.  Unfortunately, homework and pot didn’t mix well, and because I was high most of the time, I just didn’t care—I felt good NOW, why worry about later? I eventually got so far behind that I had to drop out.

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Oct 10

The ABC’s of Synthetics

Posted By iamincontrol | October 10, 2013

By Bobbie Jo

K2, Bath Salts, and Spice, they sound like things you’d find in your own home, right? These are actually some of the latest synthetic drugs. When we hear synthetic we often think fake, but these drugs are not fake! They are man-made chemicals designed to mimic the effects of other illegal drugs like marijuana, hallucinogens and amphetamines. The sole purpose of these drugs is to get the user high.

The manufacturers have used some tricky marketing tactics to make the users think these drugs are harmless. They’ve started by calling them incense, potpourri and bath salts. They’ve also put labeling on the packages like, “not for human consumption,” and “not for persons under the age of 18.” These labels allow the makers to get around requirements by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

So why are these drugs dangerous? First, the contents of the package are often unknown. Like street drugs, nobody is monitoring what the consistency or strength of these drugs is or what other dangerous chemicals are being added. Possible effects of using these drugs include vomiting, agitation, paranoia, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.

What is the legal status? That is often a confusing question, because when these drugs first came out they were actually legal. However, since then the state and federal government has put a ban on chemicals used to make synthetic drugs. The punishment would be the same as someone who is caught buying, selling or using marijuana. Unfortunately, some drug manufacturers are changing the chemical compounds to get around the law.

The bottom line is that synthetic drugs are not fake, and they can pose real health risk to the users, including death.

Check out David’s Story: