Ask Sam letter


To Sam

how do i deal with justice not served twice

hi sam i have recently found out my dad isn't going to go to prison after abusing me sexually and i was admitted to hospital because i tried to kill myself then i was discharged after week witch for me is long and hospital and social social services admit its their fault anyway now i found out that my dad isn't going to prison for rape against my mum even though i witnessed it this means he is on the streets and open to other children the thought haunts me what do i do?

Ask Sam


Hi there

Abuse is wrong and it’s always okay to tell an adult you trust about being hurt in any way. Sometimes the police and social services might need to protect you and the person who abused you could be arrested and prosecuted for the abuse. In a perfect world everyone who commits a crime is found guilty and is punished but unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.

When someone has broken the law they won’t automatically be arrested as sometimes there isn’t enough evidence for a court case or it could be hard to prove what happened. You might feel sad, angry or frustrated about what the police say but reporting abuse can help you to be safer in the future even when the abuser doesn’t go to prison.

It can be difficult to accept when someone who hurt you doesn’t get the sentence you expected. It’s natural to feel scared about being hurt again - or that someone else could be hurt by them. There will sometimes be a court order to stop the person who abused you from contacting you or being near you. You can ask the police more about how to get one if you feel unsafe.

Your social worker can help you with how to keep safe and help you to get emotional support for what has happened. When the time is right, talking about your experiences can help you to recover and start to move forwards. You can ask your doctor or social worker about counselling or seeing CAMHS, a mental health service for children and young people.

If you’re finding it difficult to cope, feeling suicidal or self-harming it’s important to get help by telling a trusted adult, a counsellor at Childline or calling 999 in an emergency.

You can talk about your experience or make a complaint if you think that mistakes have been made by the services you reported the abuse to. You could have a chance to ask them what they’ll do to try to prevent anything similar happening again. It might not change your situation but it could help to know that this may possibly help someone else in the future.

Speaking out about abuse takes courage and knowing that other people believe you, even when you can’t prove it, can also help you to recover. I’m really glad you sent me this letter. Remember, you can always speak to a counsellor at Childline at any time.

Take care


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