Sexual abuse: Jake's story

Jake was sexually abused by Luke, a family friend who used to babysit him. Jake hopes his experience will encourage others to tell someone and get help.

"I was really scared"

"I was only 6 or 7 years old when the sexual abuse started. The abuser, Luke, was a family friend and often used to babysit me. He was always around the family. He was 15 years old when the abuse started, so a lot older than me.

"Luke would ask me to play a game or we'd watch a movie together and then he'd abuse me. After a while he didn't bother with the game. Nobody caught him out. I suppose nobody expected it was happening - well why would they? I really trusted him. We all did.

"Luke told me one time after it happened that if I told my mum we'd both get into trouble and I believed him, so I was really scared.

Mum was shocked and upset. The abuser was like part of our family and we're a close family, he was almost like another son for mum.

"He said to keep it a secret and I did, but when I got a bit older and learnt a bit more about sexual things I thought that what was happening to me couldn't be right. When I was 9 I started to stop him doing it and then I think he may have moved on to abusing other boys. It was then that I told my brother who was shocked, and he told mum who wanted to speak with me about it right away.

"Mum was shocked and upset. The abuser was like part of our family and we're a close family; he was almost like another son for mum. At first she asked me if I was sure, but of course nine year old boys don't make this sort of thing up, so she knew I was telling the truth.

"Then about a year later, there was a court case which was really scary. I had to do a video link to court. I was only 10 years old at the time. It was hard for the whole family to come to terms with. The abuser got 14 years in prison. I was happy because that was justice, but I'm angry with him because I trusted him.

I feel good because I stopped it happening and that could have stopped it from happening to other boys too.

"Sometimes I wish I hadn't told anyone because it's hard on my family and my mum, but my mum always tells me that it was the right thing to do and that I helped by talking about what happened. I think he may have done it to other boys as well and that's upsetting.

"I feel good because I stopped it happening and that could have stopped it from happening to other boys too. It took me a long time to come to terms with what happened to me. For a while I wondered if I was gay, but I know that I'm not and what happened wasn't right.

"If there is someone who might be going through something like this then I'd want to tell them not to be scared, that they are not doing anything wrong. It's not their fault and it doesn't have to happen to them anymore. It's important to talk to someone who will understand and can help. I think Childline would definitely have helped it if I had known about it when I was younger."

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