Ask Sam letter


To Sam


You said that you would like to hear from anyone who has been abused in a relationship so I thought I'd share my story for anyone who wants to read it:
When I was 14, I started dating a 17 year old boy (I am a girl), and before I met him I had never even kissed a boy before and I was very shy. However within a month of our relatoinship starting, he convinced me to have sex with him even though I didn't want to. He isolated me from my friends and family, threatened to self-harm or kill himself if left him or didn't do as he wanted, and one time he even hit me. He continued to make me have sex with him and I hated it but I felt as if I had no way out and nobody to tell. We broke up after 5 months because my mum found out that we had slept together and so she made me dump him. But I told my mum that we only had sex once and that it was consensual. Over a year and a half later, I still haven't told anyone (including my parents) except for my new and very supportive boyfriend. However the thoughts and memories of what happened still plague me every day and night: do you think I should tell my parents and/or go for counselling sessions? I'm worried about telling my mum because she has had depression before so I'm scared that if I tell her, she'll blame herself and that this will trigger her depression again. Also exams are coming up so I don't want to be going through a difficult time and fail them. What do you think I should do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for sharing your experiences. It sounds like you have had a really tough time and I really think hearing your story will help other young people.

Speaking out about an abusive relationship can be incredibly hard and I am pleased you've been able to write to me. Telling your current boyfriend was also a really positive step. It sounds like your ex-boyfriend was very controlling. Hitting you and forcing you to have sex with him are both types of abuse. Your ex-boyfriend was wrong to treat you this way - relationships should be built on trust and equality. You might find it helps to learn more about relationship abuse.

Your ex-boyfriend telling you he would kill or hurt himself if you didn't have sex with him is a type of emotional abuse. By threatening you he has forced you to do things you didn't want to do. It seems like these things are still affecting how you feel. You've been through a lot and it is completely normal that these abusive experiences will still be on your mind.

From what you have written it sounds like your mum is aware of your previous relationship and you have thought about talking to your parents about what really happened. Talking about your experiences with a friend, parent, counsellor or with a ChildLine counsellor can be really positive and may help you cope with the thoughts and memories.

It sounds like the thought of your mum blaming herself might be stopping you getting the support you need. It's important to remember that what happened to you is your ex-boyfriend's fault. He treated you abusively and is responsible for his own actions. Neither you or your mum is to blame. If you are worried about telling your mum, it might be worth having a look at our page about talking to adults. You might also think about talking to someone in school - they may be able to give you some extra support as you approach your exams.

You could also think about talking to a ChildLine counsellor about your experiences, they are confidential and can offer you support around relationship abuse and coping with the lasting impact.

Take care,

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