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To Sam

sexual harrasment

hi, when i was about seven my dad had sexually abused me. i didn't know what it meant then so i thought it is normal beause he would never lie or hurt me but then i realised what he had been doing was wrong. he continued it but i kept quiet because i was afraid to tell someone and knowing he had a bit of anger problems in the past i thought he would hurt me even more. i dont know what to do. last time this happened was a month ago. i am now 12 and everyday its killing me slowly. i dont know who to turn to and i dont know who to trust anymore. what should i do?
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi,

Thank you for your letter. You’ve been very brave to make this first step and tell me about what’s been happening. It sounds like you’ve been holding on to this on your own for a very long time and I can hear that you’ve been worried about who to tell.

You have a right to feel safe and happy at home and what your dad’s been doing is wrong and against the law. Nobody is ever allowed to touch you sexually if you don’t want them to, no matter who they are. It can be very confusing and upsetting when someone we’re close to does something that we know is wrong. You’ve told me that every day this is killing you slowly and it sounds like that is a very difficult way to feel. The abuse needs to stop and talking to someone about what’s happening is a good way to get the help you need.

You said that you’re unsure of who to turn to or to trust. You might want to think about telling a responsible adult that you trust, like a teacher, youth worker or a family member. If you are worried about how to tell them face to face, you could always try writing a letter for them. It’s important for you to know that if you are to tell a teacher they are likely to have to speak to someone who can protect you from the sexual abuse, like social services or the police, because teachers have a responsibility to keep you safe.

If you don’t feel ready to talk to someone you know right now, remember you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor. They keep what you tell them confidential. They can talk to you about your feelings as well as thinking together about what you might like to happen. ChildLine counsellors will be there for you no matter what you decide to do. You might also find it useful to read the Explore page on sexual abuse, as well as reading about other young people’s experiences on the Sexual abuse message boards.

You have done so well to write this letter.

Hope this reply helps,

Sam

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