Know Your Rights and Get Involved
Sex Etc. is the ultimate resource for youth regarding many sexuality health topics. It is specifically designed for teens, and has facts about sexual health topics as well as stories from teens just like you. Learn about your rights as a teen in Rhode Island, LGBTQ rights and community, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases testing, emergency contraception, pregnancy, and current trending topics. You can ask confidential questions, and even have conversations online with their live ‘Sexperts’.
Sexual assault has always been an important issue, but given recent controversies and student activism against assault, the White House has organized a task force in January 2014 and part of their work has been to make this website. It has information for everyone, but especially students and schools, on how to get involved, how to find a crisis center/advocacy center locally, what to do if a school isn’t handling sexual assault properly, how to help a friend, and more.
There is a revolution among us – Youth Activism. Young activists are demanding to know their rights, and demanding change. Young activists are demanding honest sexual health information and affordable, confidential sexual health services. Learn what your rights are, and see what other teens are up to on their quest for social and reproductive justice.
To get even more specific, visit:
Amplify Your Voice: Find out facts about STD and HIV prevention, and speak out and talk with other teens about your rights and other sexual health issues.
Campus Organzing Team: College students on campuses all across the nation are working together to fight for honest sex education, contraceptive access, LGBTQ rights, and STD prevention methods.
MySistahs: Created by and for young women of color to provide accurate information and offer support and sexual and reproductive health issues through education and advocacy.
State Activists: Youth Leadership Councils in several states advocate for comprehensive sexual health education in their communities. They fight for honest, responsible sex education and aim to ensure that young people have their own voice within this debate. There is currently no Rhode Island Activist group, we should all be working together to get one going!
Gender & Orientation
As a member of the LGBTQ community in Rhode Island, it is important to know your rights. GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) fights for equal justice under the law for all. You are protected by law in Rhode Island from any type of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Also, considering you spend a lot of time at your school, it’s good to know your rights as a student in Rhode Island.
You’re never alone; there are people all over the nation fighting for equal rights for members of the LGBT community. Options has been a Rhode Island lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender newsmagazine since 1982. Stay in the loop with news regarding the LGBT community in Rhode Island, as well as all over the country.
Rhode Island Pride is an organization proud to celebrate the pride and diversity of the LGBT community of Rhode Island and Southern New England. Their goal is to promote equal rights and diversity through public education and the arts. Rhode Island Pride is a part of many different programs and projects meant to give individuals the tools to develop self-pride and self-esteem. Check out what’s going on and how you can get involved.
Youth Pride RI envisions a world that is safe, accepting and without prejudice where and young adults impacted by sexual orientation and gender identity/expression can express themselves freely and reach their true potential. Here, YPI provides current news and events, how to get involved, programs they offer, and other resources including therapists and doctors.
PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays) believes in supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered family and friends in their efforts to accept one another, and to cope with an adverse society. Their mission is to educate, but not judge, an ill-informed public to understand that homosexuality is not a choice, and that accepting diversity is the American way. PFLAG advocates for equal civil rights for lesbians and gays. Here, you can find information about their upcoming meetings, suggested readings, and newsletters.
Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. The Trevor Project offers a 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline, a free and confidential instant messaging service, a free texting service, a social networking service named TrevorSpace, and tons of education and resources.
Based out of Northwestern, Impact’s mission is to improve the overall health and well-being of the LGBTQ community. An entire section of their program is solely dedicated to youth. Here you can learn about exciting new research findings and tons of recommended resources specifically for youth. They have blogs, videos, quizzes, interactive social media options, and ways you can get involved if you’d like to!
Contraception & Sexual Health Services
It is encouraged to try and keep your parents involved with your sexual health and safety. However, medical providers, by law, must keep your information about you and your visit confidential. However, using your parents’ or guardians’ insurance may reveal your visit.
Healthy Youth RI advocates for comprehensive sexuality education, including the prevention of pregnancy and and STI’s, and the instruction of contraception and safe sex if one chooses to be sexually active. HYRI recognizes that sexual health needs to be addressed in a holistic way that focuses on all pieces of full sexual well-being, including the use of contraception like condoms. We aren’t alone! Check out The Rhode Island Alliance webpage, and click the “Your Reproductive Rights in RI” tab at the bottom. You can find where to get condoms, as well as a few other tips and legal rights about birth control that might surprise you.
Bedsider is an excellent source for anything you want to know about birth control. This site provides birth control facts, different birth control methods, where to get birth control, and how to find a birth control that fits your body and your life.
It’s impossible to deny that sex is everywhere. The Coalition for Positive Sexuality is about having a positive attitude towards sexuality, and empowering youth with the right to make their own choices. The coalition believes that youth, parents, schools, and healthcare providers need to work together to achieve effective sexual education. There are many different types of birth control to prevent pregnancy if you decide to not be abstinent, as well as the types of birth control you should NOT use. It’s also important for youth to know the truth about sex, and myths. In order to maintain sexual health, youth must be aware of the different types of STD’s and STI’s, and how to prevent them.
What Services You Can Get
The first step in the process of getting certain forms of contraception,STI/STD testing, and other sexual health services is to find a provider. Once you make contact with a provider, payment options can be discussed. Federal family planning laws require that the cost of contraception and services be based on income. However, some healthcare providers are funded by the Title X Family Planning program. It was enacted in 1970 as Title X of the Public Health Service Act. It aims to provide high quality and cost-effective family planning and related preventive health services for low-income women, men, teens, and families. Health services are provided at reduced rates, or in some cases free. No matter where you are in Rhode Island, there is a health service center nearby that can provide you with sexual health services.
Title X funding serves a large population of people who need subsidized services. Title X covers a variety of sexual health services including pelvic exams, pap tests, contraception methods, breast exams, lab tests, STI screenings, basic infertility screening, referrals to specialized health care, HIV counseling, patient education, and pregnancy diagnosis.
Emergency Contraception is NOT an abortion pill. It doesn’t end a pregnancy, but instead prevents a pregnancy from ever starting. It does not protect against STD’s and STI’s.
The Morning-After Pill, Plan-B is the most common form of emergency contraception. Emergency contraception should never be a form of consistent birth control. A person of any age can obtain Plan-B without any prescription at many local drug stores with no prescription needed. Go here to find out exactly what it is, where to get it, how it works, the cost and the answers to other extremely important questions.
Next Choice One Dose will soon be available on the shelf next to Plan B. A prescription is not needed, but you must be at least 17 years of age.
There are other forms of emergency contraception available, including Ella, which can be effective up to 5 days after unprotected sex and is proven to be more effective on heavier-set women than Plan B is. A prescription is needed to obtain Ella, and you must be at least 17 years of age.
STI/STD Testing Services
Planned Parenthood is a health service center who offers a variety of services including birth control, STD testing, men’s health-care, and general health care. Find out about the Planned Parenthood in Providence.
Miriam Hospital is the located in Providence, and is the largest HIV and STD clinic in Rhode Island. The hospital offers free testing for HIV, Hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Pregnant? You Have Options!
In Rhode Island, if you are under the age of 18, one parent must give permission for your abortion.
The Guttmacher Institute provides national background and context of abortions, various statistics regarding pregnancies and their outcomes and where women obtain abortions, as well as restrictions on abortions.
Brown University’s health-focused pages are a great resource for researching or learning about abortion. Here, you can learn about the different types of abortions, where to receive abortions, services offered, and fees.
There are available abortion services in Providence at Planned Parenthood. Here, you can find out the different types of abortion services, how they work, and prices and payment methods.
Crisis pregnancy centers can be very deceiving, and it is advised that youth shouldn’t go to them for help. Crisis pregnancy centers are often religious and have devious goals. To achieve these goals, crisis pregnancy centers have been known to lie about a ton of components of sexual health. Here, Pro-Choice America tells you exactly what crisis pregnancy centers are, their reliance on deception, their deceiving strategies of intimidation and misinformation, and how they dissuade women from exercising their right to choose abortion. Here is a list of crisis pregnancy centers in Rhode Island. As a teen, it is important to know all of your options and to have all accurate information. Don’t rely on crisis pregnancy centers about things like abortion.
The Nowell Leadership Academy is a YWCA of Rhode Island. They follow similar missions and goals as HYRI, and aim to “increase the educational achievement of at-risk high school students in Rhode Island by providing a comprehensive high school program that addresses and breaks down the barriers to high school attendance and completion that are related to teenage pregnancy and parenting, family care-taking responsibilities, domestic abuse, lack of family support and other family-related challenges.” The academy also offers PIP, a Parenting in Progress group. PIP was designed for school age adolescents to study for a G.E.D. or a high school diploma, while learning parenting skills and receiving day care for their infants in a secure and supportive environment.
When facing teen pregnancy, it is crucial to know all of your options. Adoption Rhode Island believes that every child deserves a permanent, healthy home. The agency recognizes that there is a need for adoption support services in Rhode Island. Here you can find information about considering adoption and programs and services.
Did you know that February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month? Everyone deserves a healthy relationship, and there is never an excuse for abuse. Visit the official website to learn more, find out how to Step Up and Speak out, and why Love Is Not Abuse.
Everybody deserves to be in a healthy relationship free from violence. Love is respect is dedicated to getting teens to understand the difference between unhealthy, healthy, and abusive relationships. If you think you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, take this quiz to find out.
1 in 4 teens has experienced teen dating violence in the United States. Take a look at a list of warning signals from The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. If any of them sound familiar, it may be time to look for help.
There are several agencies that are led by the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence. If you believe you are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, and may not have anyone to turn to, reach out. There are people waiting to help you.
KnowMore is a campaign on a mission to end domestic violence and sexual assault, and it’s come to Rhode Island. KnowMore focuses on bystanders to prevent violence in relationships. EVERYONE is a bystander, everyone can intervene, everyone can stand up, and everyone can help. Get involved.
Research shows that teen dating violence and unhealthy behaviors are higher in LGBTQ relationships than other relationships. Here, Love is Respect helps you figure out if your LGBTQ relationships is healthy, unhealthy, or abusive. You can also chat with a peer advocate, how to build a support system, plan for your safety, or maybe even find out how to get a domestic violence restraining order.
Sometimes if can be hard to figure out if you’re in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Sometimes, it can be completely oblivious that you’re in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. How can gay, lesbian and bisexual teens tell if their relationships are healthy? A good way to start is by seeing if they meet eight important criteria on this healthy relationship checklist. You can also find information and support about coming out, gay teen support, and information about gay teen relationships and sex.