Sexual and physical abuse is something that happens quite often, but most go about their daily lives never knowing that their best friend or family member could be a victim of such abuse. It can happen to anyone – abuse is not selective towards one specific type of person. It is important to know what is considered sexual and physical abuse, as well as how often it happens. 
At the end of the guide, I have also included how to portray a character who is or has been abused in any way. Please remember that though I will be doing a generalization of how to portray this certain type of character, you need to know that everyone reacts and deals with abuse differently. As someone who has been raped and physically abused, I wanted to share my knowledge and my experience.
Trigger Warnings: Talk of Sexual, Physical & Emotional abuse.

Sexual Abuse: 

It can happen to anyone, anywhere at any time – though women, children and some demographic groups are more frequently victimized. It impacts hundreds of thousands of victims each year in the United States alone – all from different ages, genders, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Unfortunately, there is low reporting rates between women and children, and even more so when it happens to men. In America alone, there is a rape every 2 minutes. 22% of victims are younger than age 12 when they were first raped, and 32% were between the ages of 12 and 17. 25% of girls and 17% of boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. 70% of rape and sexual assault victims knew their attacker prior to the assault. 43% of lesbian and bisexual women, and 30% of gay and bisexual men, reported having experienced at least one form of sexual assault in their lifetime.

Physical Abuse: 

It is a widespread problem all over the word. It is not limited to any specific subset of population. Families from all racial and ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds engage in physical abuse – most often, children can be subjected to physical abuse regardless of their sex or age. Through studies, certain factors and conditions increase the risk of physical abuse within families, such as; children with complex medical problems or developmental delays, children who are unwanted, “difficult” children who are hyperactive, children whose caregivers are under life stresses.

Abusive Relationships: 

Much like abuse in families, it can happen in relationships as well. Though some may think that it is easy to just leave the relationship once abuse begins, it isn’t so easy. Things can start out slowly; your significant other could act a bit different than they usually do, but you just brush it off to them having a bad day. Progressively, it gets worse. You could end up in a position where you believe that you can change or fix the abuse – or it could turn you into believing that you deserve the abuse. Your partner could begin to cut you off from friends, family, and your life in general – controlling every part of your life. That is when you become dependent on your partner, making it difficult to leave.

Sexual Abuse: 

All sexual activity between an adult and child is sexual abuse. Sexual touching between children can also be sexual abuse. In America, there is a thing called Age of Consent. Depending on the state varies with the age of consent. If someone is of age of consent, then the person they are dating can only be two years older than themselves until they are a legal adult. For example; the age of consent in Washington State is 16 years old. A 16 year old can date anyone between the years of 14 and 18; a 17 year old can date anyone between the years of 15 and 19; and so on and so forth. If there is any sexual activity between (for example) a 16 year old and 20 year old – even with consent – it could be construed as Statutory Rape. Rape is, by definition, the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse; any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person; to force to have sexual intercourse.

Physical Abuse: 

There are many signs of an abusive relationship and an abusive family member. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner – constantly watching what you say and do – chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs could be that your partner belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation. It is the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. 
With most abusers, they tend to hide their abuse very well. Some, not all, will make sure that any bruises they create are in places that can be easily hidden by clothing. However, sometimes the abuse gets out of hand – perhaps with the help of alcohol or drugs – and an abuser can go on a rampage, causing more wounds that are more noticeable.

Emotional Abuse: 

It is quite a real thing, and something that is easier to hide than bruises and broken bones. Most people think of abuse as women, men, or children being beaten around, having bruises, being battered. However, many men and women suffer from emotional abuse. It is no less destructive, but is most often minimized or over looked – even by the victim. The aim is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. Most times the victims will feel like there is no way out or that without the abusive partner, they are nothing. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming, as well as isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior. Often times, the abuser will often times throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don’t do what they want.

There isn’t one specific way to play a character who is/has been sexually and/or physically abused. Every single person, in real life, deals with their abuse in a different way. For this sexual, I am going to use most of my experience. Now, depending on when the character has been abused (whether it’s before the current time period of the role play or during the current time period) will also be a part of how your character deals with what is or has happened to them. For example; when I was first being abused, I made excuses for my abuser; when my abuser raped me, again, I made excuses – it was my fault that it happened; but now, years later, I am able to talk about it and say that my abuser was in the wrong, it was their fault, I did nothing wrong.
Physically & Emotionally Abused Characters – The Past: 

For characters that have been abused in the past (depending on how far in the past, and the type of character you are play), your character could have potentially gone through a lot of counseling. Personally, I saw a counselor for a couple of months, but then stopped going. If you choose to write or play a character that is going through counseling in the present time period, most likely, they will keep that hidden from the people around them. With past abuse, it will have put extreme mental scars on the character. Most likely, they will have trust issues of everyone around them – even those close to them. If your character has been abused by someone they knew, then trust with people close to them will be extremely rocky. 
With emotional abuse and verbal abuse, your character could have developed traits or flaws in their personality from the experience. For example, if your character gets into a fight with another character, they could end up apologizing – even if it’s not their fault. With emotionally abused victims, they tend to believe that everything that goes wrong is their fault, simply because someone had degraded them so much that that’s what they truly believe. Through counseling, your character could be better than they were, but will still have those personality flaws. It takes time for them to gain trust in others, even with counseling, though they might not always show it. I suggest when playing a previously abused character, you find something for them to do (write, draw, sing, etc.) that helps them to cope with what has happened to them.

Physically & Emotionally Abused Characters – The Present: 

Someone who is presently being abused will most likely never tell anyone. They will be too afraid for their lives to say anything – especially to the police. To play a character that is currently being abused could be extremely hard, unless it is a one on one. With the abuser slowly cutting the victim off from everything, they become introverted and become dependent on their abuser. Shame starts to set in, and guilt. They begin to believe that it’s their fault, they did something wrong to cause their abuser to start abusing them. “I didn’t do the dishes. I deserve to be hit,” thoughts like this are constant in someone who is being abused. You may think that it would be easy to leave if someone was abusing you, but most abusers don’t start a relationship with abusive behaviors. The abuser gets someone to trust them, even potentially fall in love with them (in the case of a relationship), and then begin to slowly cut their victim away from their normal life.
In the case of an abusive family situation, that will be easier to play. Again, much of the same principles of an abusive relationship, also apply to a family situation. However, if the child grows up being abused, or seeing a parent abused, it is thought of as normal behavior. The child doesn’t know any better, and therefore, also, feels like when they get abused, they have done something to deserve it. An important thing to remember with characters that are being currently abused – either by a partner or a family member – they won’t tell anyone. They will be introverted in most cases, a loner. Children who are abused are also more likely to be in an abusive relationship. Remember, they will be extremely introverted and will keep to themselves.

Sexually Abused Character:

This is extremely difficult to write, since there are so many different situations that a character could get into that could have the potential for sexual abuse. A few of those could be; a party where drugs & alcohol are involved, walking home alone at night, a simple couple just sitting at home. So depending on the situation, it will most likely affect how the victim reacts to the situation. With sexually abusive situations, there are times when your character may or may not be able to refuse the sexual activity. If they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it could be impossible to do anything, let alone say anything. There could also be cases where a character might not say anything to stop unwanted sexual activity because they fear for their lives. That does not mean it is any less unwanted. 
After the immediate abuse, a character could feel many different things; filthy, invaded, guilty, worthless, unpure. In most cases, a character (or person) will take many showers after the abuse, feeling dirty, wanting to get the feel of it off their skin. In some instances, they could end up really damaging their skin from scrubbing it so hard, so much, so often. More often than not, the sexual abuse will go unreported from the pure shame. Not only that, there have been “horror” stories that speak of police not doing anything with a legitimate rape kit done, and will often write it off. This could cause your character to be extremely hurt, and even begin to distrust The System. 
Over the years, depending on how you write the character, your character could go a couple of different ways. One way is that your character never recovers. They struggle with future relationships, and grow a huge distaste for any and all sexual activity. Speaking from experience, panic attacks and other mental issues could arise. Panic attacks could especially happen during any sexual activity. They will also become introverted, and even a bit ashamed of themselves. They could even blame themselves for what happened.

Important Things to Remember: 

These type of characters – the ones who are abused in any way – will be introverted. There are exceptions, of course, because no one deals with things the same way as others. Most characters should be portrayed as having trust issues, as well as keeping secrets (especially about being abused). Characters who are abused should be written with extreme care. If there is anything triggering in the biography, than you must put a warning on. 
Though I personally feel that, in the right situation, a character with past traumas are always better than having a character who is currently abused. Playing an abused character could take a lot of work; you’ll need knowledge of different disorders – depression, anxiety, panic attacks – as well as a true understanding of how to play a character with trust issues. Though playing an abused character could seem easy, in all honesty, it could be a hard character to portray correctly.

I strongly urge you, if you believe you are in an abusive situation, seek help. You are always welcome to come speak to me about it, or call a hotline - if you don’t feel comfortable calling the police. Please, please get help. You aren’t alone.
Numbers and websites for women & men:
US: The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233 [SAFE])
UK: Women’s Aid (0808 2000 247)
Australia: 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732)
Worldwide: International Directory of Domestic Violence (a global list of helplines & crisis centers)
Websites for men:
US & Canada: The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men & Women
UK: ManKind Initiative
Australia: One in Three Campaign
Worldwide: International Directory of Domestic Violence (a global list of helplines & crisis centers)




Sexual and physical abuse is something that happens quite often, but most go about their daily lives never knowing that their best friend or family member could be a victim of such abuse. It can happen to anyone – abuse is not selective towards one specific type of person. It is important to know what is considered sexual and physical abuse, as well as how often it happens.

At the end of the guide, I have also included how to portray a character who is or has been abused in any way. Please remember that though I will be doing a generalization of how to portray this certain type of character, you need to know that everyone reacts and deals with abuse differently. As someone who has been raped and physically abused, I wanted to share my knowledge and my experience.

Trigger Warnings: Talk of Sexual, Physical & Emotional abuse.

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I was asked to make a rebloggable version.

1. Be bold, vicious and detailed. 
There are different kinds of abuse and they are all damaging to a person. In our current social climate it seems to me that authors and readers have no idea what an abusive relationship is. Bella Swan and Edward Cullen are in an abusive relationship. Travis Maddox and Abby from Beautiful Disaster are in an abusive relationship. Braden and Joss from “On Dublin Street” are not quite there, but they are straddling the line. Christian Grey from “Fifty Shades of Grey” is probably the most terrifyingly controlling man in any book I have ever read and it has nothing to do with the fact that he is into the BDSM lifestyle.

If you are going to write an abusive relationship you have to be aware that abuse has been glamorized and glossed over.  Extreme jealousy is now seen as romantic, because “he’s so afraid of losing me.”  If a guy isn’t insanely passionate, breaking down doors and watching the heroine sleep then “he doesn’t care enough.”  If the guy is trying to isolate the heroine, have control of the way she dresses or where she goes it’s because “he doesn’t want to share me.”

It is scary as hell out there  and if you are going to write this kind of relationship you have to go for it 100%. You can not dilute or gloss over how horrible it is. You have to make it very clear that this is not romantic, it is not sweet, it is abusive and this kind of guy may love you forever, but he will probably also destroy you in the mean time

2. Research.
Everyone is different. Every relationship is different, which means that every abusive relationship is also different.  Do research. When I was in film school I wrote a short film about a woman who runs from an abusive relationship. I did hours of research on the web. Do you know that survivors of domestic abuse run blogs and websites? These incredible women put all their emotions on the web in the hopes that women who are living through it will read it and be inspired to leave. It is amazing. These stories will break your heart, they will piss you off, frighten you and fill you with conviction. There were nights where I wanted to grab a baseball bat and just go after these husbands. The point is that I found two stories that touched me so deeply, I wrote for hours.

If you have never been in this kind of relationship you have NO IDEA what it’s like. You have no idea, so don’t for a second think that you can come up with these emotions from scratch. If you want to delve deep into the brain of the victim, of the person who sleeps beside their abuser every night, then you have to find their thoughts. You still wont really know what it’s like, but this will give you a better starting point then your preconceived notions of what it means to be abused.

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Source: bookgeekconfessions



No one ship is exactly the same. Each couple tends to come with their own quirks, their own traditions, their own struggles.

I’ve recently dug up an interesting article that categorizes relationships into 10 different kinds.

  1. Survival relationships 
  2. Validation relationships 
  3. Scripted relationships 
  4. Acceptance relationships
  5. Individuation-Assertion relationships 
  6. Healing relationships 
  7. Experimental relationships 
  8. Transitional relationships
  9. Avoidance relationships
  10. Pastime relationships  

If you’re interested in using these to help you roleplay a relationship that seems in at least some way, realistic, continue reading. 

Survival relationships: 

  • This is made up of people who don’t feel as if they can survive on their own. 
  • They feel as if they have to have someone be anything. In some cases it may literally be a case of survival.
  • Think someone who provides shelter, food, job, money etc. It’s important to note that these two are codependent. 
  • The relationship is often hostile and sometimes abusive. 
  • Feelings of insecurity tend to run rampant! 

Validation relationships: 

  • People in these relationships are those who seek validation of their physical attractiveness, intellect, social status, sexuality, wealth, or some other attribute.  
  • Teenagers and young adults who are looking for a sense of identity form relationships based on sexual validation.
  • The relationship tends to be a little insecure and need constant validation. 
  • “Do you really love me?” 

Scripted relationships: 

  • Seems to be the most perfect of relationships and everyone around them sees it as a great relationship.
  • The partners are the most perfect boyfriend or the most perfect girlfriend.
  • There are often power struggles in this type of relationship.
  • Sexual attraction or involvement if often lacking.
  • The partners are often stuck in routines. 

Acceptance relationships 

  • A trusting, supporting and enjoyable relationship. 
  • A very healthy and happy relationship. 

Individuation-Assertion relationships 

  • Both individuals know what the others wants and needs are.
  • Respect is a key factor in this relationship.
  • Partners are supportive of others aspirations and dreams 
  • They both recognize their individuality. 

NOTE: All types from here on tend to be transient.

Healing relationships:

  • These occur after periods of loss, struggle, depression, stress or mourning.
  • They’re looking for someone to “fix them” 
  • Couples tend to talk about the past and their losses a lot. 
  • Gentleness, support, and comfort  characterize this relationship srather than great passion.

Experimental relationships 

  • These are experimental relationships.

Transitional relationships 

  • This is a relationship that is a cross between the kind of relationships you use to have the kind you want.
  • An “almost but not quite there” 

Avoidance relationships 

  • They’re together but not close.
  • They want to avoid their own deeper feelings. 
  • Don’t want to “get too close” 
  • Self-disclosure is low and mistrust is high. 

Pastime relationships 

  • Just something recreational and for fun and games.
  • Often emphasis is on fun and not deeper feelings.
  • Not one likely to last.
  • One night stands fall under this.

(A link to the article

Source: sonoma.edu


  • Both partners are supportive of what the other partner does
  • Both partners encourage the other to try new things
  • Both partners listen to the other
  • Both partners are well liked by the other’s friends
  • Both partners understands that the other has their own life
  • Both partners gives the other their space
  • Both partners understand that the other is in charge of their body and appearance
  • Both partners may get jealous sometimes, but in the end trusts the other.
  • Both partners respect the other and their beliefs and interests
  • Both partners takes responsibility for their own mistakes
  • Both partners makes the other feel loved and desirable
  • Both partners would never harm or threaten the other or a family or friend
  • Both partners would be understanding if the other decided to leave the relationship, although they may be upset.
  • Both partners respect the other’s belongings and would never hurt their pets
  • Both partners careful to not hurt the other without consent
  • Both partners may get angry or have mood swings but would never take it out on the other and controls themselves around their partner
  • Both partners always asks for consent and respects the first no. Sex is never expected in the relationship
  • Both partners focus on healthy communication to work out problems
  • Both partners may use drugs or alcohol recreationally but they would never use that as an excuse to hurt the other, do not become more violent while using, and would never force it on another.
  • Both partners care about the other’s feelings and tries to help when they’re upset
  • Both partners respects personal boundaries
  • Both partners stand up for the other if they are being hurt in some way
  • Both partners may offer constructive advice but also offers encouragement and knows that it is your decision and loves you regardless
  • Both partners have equal power in the relationships
  • Both partners know the other’s expectations and meets them
  • Both partners know the other’s boundaries and always obeys those boundaries
  • Both partners avoid codependency and live their own lives
  • Both partners would never manipulate or threaten the other into certain behavior
  • When a problem is brought up both people work to fix it and if one promises to change a behavior they keep that promise
  • Both partners take the other’s concerns seriously
  • Both partners respect the other’s privacy
  • Both partners talk about money and have developed a system they are both comfortable with
  • Both partners discuss what they want from the relationship and go as slow as is fitting to both of their boundaries and desires for the relationship
  • Both partners talk about it before they make the decision to have a child and the communicate about what they would do if there was an unplanned pregnancy and they talk about birth control and contraceptives.
  • Both partners have time for their friends, family, school, jobs or other aspects of their lives and do sometimes spend time apart
  • Neither partner is afraid of the other.
  • Both partners feel supported in following their goals
  • Both partners are happy with their sex lives and feel secure and treated fairly.
  • Any big changes in the relationship are discussed firts.
Relationships are difficult and they take work. It’s not going to be perfect and things will happen that will make a partner feel bad. We all make mistakes. It’s important to recognize those mistakes and how it is damaging behavior and change that behavior. Communication is so very important! It’s important that everyone is involved in the relationship, getting their needs met, feels comfortable and safe, and feels like they can be honest. If that’s not happening, something has to change. Sometimes people just aren’t good for each other, and that’s okay! Breakups can be hard but sometimes they are necessarily. A healthy relationship can have any structure and can be between any group of people. It can be polyamorous, non monogamous, BDSM, kinky, involve mental health conditions and many more.

Source: fuckyeahsexeducation


Enjoy reading about strong female characters kicking ass?

Wattpad brings you a guest post from Charlotte Ashley. Read her fantasy adventure “Bazza’Jo” free on Wattpad:

“It’s field vs forest, Caster vs hunter and Raina in the middle determined to protect them all.”

Creating Love Interests for Strong Female Characters

In my time I have been called a “tom boy”, “geek”, “butch” and just plain “weird”. Why? Because I love, love action, adventure, fantasy, swashbuckling, epics and heroes. I play video games, role play, dress up in costumes in public, learned to fight with swords, and read every book I came across. I want to be the heroine of every adventure out there.

But my escapist fantasies also have to include love interests, and that’s harder to find. How do you give a strong girl a love interest who doesn’t eclipse her? They can’t just sit around at home - that’s boring, and who wants to date that kind of dead weight anyway? - but if they get too involved in the heroics, it risks becoming his, not her, adventure.


Being very hot is also a huge distraction from the action.

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jewishpopcorn asked: Any ideas about writing a deep sense of camaraderie between characters without seeming gay? I’m hoping the bond to be similar to the bond between Holmes and Watson, Lennie and George, and other famous brothers in bond. Thank you for any advice you can give!

We’d like to begin by quoting John Green: “Books belong to their readers.”

If your readership sees a homoerotic connection between two male characters (famously the case in modern Sherlock Holmes adaptations between Sherlock and Watson), then there is very little than you can do about it. You can recognize that your audience may see homosexual attraction where none was initially intended and embrace it with humorous asides and a certain amount of ambiguity or you can ignore the subject altogether.

If you don’t write them to be attracted to each other, they won’t be. That is, until the fan fiction authors get ahold of your narrative. By that time, it’ll be out of your hands.

However, you can start by writing a believable male friendship. The examples below, of course, are not true of all male friendships, but they represent a good starting point.

Male friendships:

Just to reiterate, these examples are not law. They are simply a starting place from which to build believable male friendships.

For more on male friendships, check out these articles:

Thank you for your question!