PrevenTell: A Help Line for “Unwanted Sexuality”

About six months ago, PrevenTell, a Swedish help line, began operations. This service is for people who feel like they need support and advice in regards to their sexuality, sexual urges, thoughts or inclinations that may be unacceptable, illegal, or harmful. In short, they are seeking help for their “unwanted sexuality.”

People who are encouraged to call the help line are those who feel like their sexual urges and wishes might be hurtful to either themselves or to others, or are becoming a problem; or if a person is concerned about someone else’s sexual behavior or behaviors. The support line was developed in order to prevent sexual abuse and assault by aiming to help and advise those who feel like their sexuality is out of control–namely, the people who are likely to abuse or hurt someone else.

PrevenTell is a great step towards accepting the fact that it is the person acting out, not the victim, that is behaving in an unacceptable or risky way. If we focus more on prevention of, and education about, sexual abuse and non-acceptable sexual behavior, we are less likely to blame the victim or engage in victim-blaming language or assumptions.