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To Sam

i feel unsafe my stepdad lives near me

my stepdad lives near me and when i was young he used to abuse me and i dont feel safe. i cant sleep anymore. i dont want to be at home.when i have to come home i dont want to because i feel unsafe.
Ask Sam



Thank you for writing to me. There are many types of abuse and growing up with abuse of any kind can be very scary. No one has any right to treat you like that.

You’ve been really brave telling me how you have been left feeling. It’s understandable that you're feeling unsafe having to live near someone who has hurt you before. Reminders of what happened in the past can make it more difficult to move on.

Your safety is really important and if you feel unsafe at any time in your home or anywhere else then it is your right to tell an adult you trust. This could be an adult family member, a teacher or the police. They are all people whose job it is to keep you safe. You have the right to feel safe and happy.

People need to know you feel unsafe otherwise they won’t know you are struggling to sleep or that you don’t want to be at home. It can be hard for people to support you if they don’t know what’s going on. You might want to consider letting someone know what has happened in the past with your stepdad and what feeling safe would look like for you.

Writing things down to make sense of them might help when you tell someone and might also help you to sleep at night too. There is support available for people who have been through abuse – talking to someone like a counsellor or therapist can sometimes help.

Sometimes when we worry about things it can become difficult to sleep and lots of young people experience this. Looking at our sleeping message board could help. Some people like to read before bedtime, have a relaxing bath, watch a funny movie or listen to calming music to help them sleep. You could also try the Balloon game which is really good for releasing worries you might have.

Talking to someone about what you are experiencing can help you to work through it and to cope better with everything.  Perhaps you could talk to a counsellor by calling free on 0800 1111 or 1-2-1 chat. This phone number won’t show up on your phone bill.

Well done for writing to me.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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