Case Narrative

A Consenting Juveniles narrative is a first-hand account reporting the words of the research subject on his or her experience.

Heather Corinna

More respect, care and love than others my age.

Source:   Rage of Consent: How our Love/Hate Relationship with Youth Sexuality and our Abuse Hysteria is Endangering our Culture
by Heather Corinna
Soapbox Girls, July 2001

Heather Corinna describes herself on as “a freelance photographer, self-portrait artist, writer and author, sexuality educator and activist.” Her 2001 essay, Rage of Consent, criticizing the sex laws included five anonymous accounts of women who responded to her survey about sexual relationships they had had with men or women while they were teenagers. It also included her own brief account.

From a personal standpoint, when I was in my teens, I had a wide variety of relationships with both same-age peers as well as legal adults. I had been sexually assaulted and molested early in my adolescence, and had no trouble knowing or determining what was or was not abusive. Truly, I cannot toss one group or the other by age alone in the negative pile, because they all differed, not by age groups, but as most relationships differ — based on the dynamic between myself and another person.

However, one of the most pivotal relationships in my life was with a twenty-three year old man when I was fifteen. Certainly he had his own set of problems, and they were plentiful: he had been a molestation victim in several foster homes after landing there because of his father’s suicide and his mother’s severe psychosis. He, like me at the time, was suicidal and had a drug dependency, though he was the one person who got me over my suicidal behavior (something my therapist would later credit him for). However, this was also by far the most wonderful and intimate relationship of my teen years. He was more respectful of my sexual boundaries than all of my same-age peers. He held me in higher esteem, and treated me with more respect, care and love than others my age. That may be because he was older, that may be because he was who he was — there really is no telling.

But what is telling is that at a certain point, we went through the horrible experience of being threatened with statutory rape charges and various threats due to our age-disparity, and despite my leaving home to escape those threats, he committed suicide shortly thereafter. Matthew had a lot of stresses, and he likely would have done what he did regardless. However, the stress on both of us from the community disdain and the legal threats — in a relationship that was far more respectful of me than any legal one I had had up to that point — was massive, and he left no doubt it contributed highly to his decision to take his life.

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