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

Tag: domestic violence

Nov 26

#It’sOnUs: Why is the President Taking Over the Silver Screen

Posted By iamincontrol | November 26, 2014


Has anyone seen the commercial called “It’s on Us”?! Where the camera shot focuses up close and over and over again on faces of celebrities and even the vice president and president. Well, since I wasn’t quite sure what they meant by all this “It’s On Us” stuff, I did some investigation.


The campaign is to help increase awareness about sexual assault in the US. In addition, they are encouraging people to no just stand around and let this happen, but to actually take a major role in stepping in or preventing it. They want everyone to sign a pledge that says this:

To recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.

To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur.

To intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.

To create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported


If you don’t think sexual assault is bad in your school, think again! These stats tell a different story: Approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the United States have been the victims of sexual assault– 1 in 3 females and 1 in 6 males are sexually assaulted before the age of eighteen. That means that if you took three times the population of adolescents in Iowa—that’s how many teens are getting sexually assaulted in the US. It’s time this got national coverage. It is on Us to reverse these statistics, starting with us. Please log on to Facebook and like the “It’s On Us” Page, Follow them on Twitter, and sign on to this website and sign the petition to end sexual assault:

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.

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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Nov 5

What Makes a Good Relationship?

Posted By iamincontrol | November 5, 2013

What makes a good relationship
By Viv

This month’s poll asked readers to vote for the quality they look for most in a boyfriend or girlfriend.  Here are the results:

What’s the most important thing you look for in a boyfriend or girlfriend?

  • Looks (56%)
  • Similar interests (21%)
  • Money (10%)
  • Sense of humor (4%)
  • Honesty (3%)
  • Intelligence (3%)

So, while most of you prefer beauty over brains we all know that a good dating relationship is based on several qualities.  I’d bet that if we asked you to rank order these, your responses may have been a little different.  So let’s talk about what makes a dating relationship a good one.

Here’s a personal quiz to think about if you are currently in a “dating” relationship.  Does the person you are seeing:

  • Treat you well?
  • Respect you (including what you feel comfortable doing sexually)?
  • Give you space to hang out with your friends?
  • Let you wear what you want to wear?

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Sep 10

Scary Skinny: A Supermodel Opens Up

Posted By iamincontrol | September 10, 2013

Most teenagers have opened up a magazine and thought, “Why don’t I look like these models?  How can I change myself to be more like them?”  A model’s life looks so glamorous.  But underneath, is that really the case?

Recently, a supermodel that was popular in the 80s and 90s opened up to talk about how unhealthy her lifestyle had been in the modeling industry.  After reading through some old letters from fans asking how she stayed so skinny and beautiful, Carré Otis had the courage to open up and reveal what really went on back then.

One excerpt from the article sums up her lifestyle:

So what was the truth behind Otis’s stunning figure? Vomiting, starving and drugs, she writes. Behind her sexy, flirty happiness? It was all a performance, constructed to cover up the traumas of sexual abuse, including repeated rapes by an agent. Behind her flawless skin and lush hair? Airbrushing and hair extensions, to disguise what starvation, dehydration and lack of sleep wrought.

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