Ask Sam letter

Asker

To Sam

friend

hey sam my friend is having problems she has been sexually abused and shes only 11 years old please help
Ask Sam

Sam

Hey there,

Thanks for your letter; you sound like such a caring and supportive person. Your friend is lucky to have you trying hard to get support for her so that she can be safe. Sexual abuse is very wrong, and it is against the law and you’re doing the right thing to write to me. What is happening is not your friend’s fault and it is so important that this abuse stops.

Sexual abuse can be stopped with help from the right people. Your friend does have options, even though at times she may feel like she doesn’t. Who she asks to help her and how she does this is her choice. It’s good that you have each other as friends, as friends are very important when life is difficult. Together you can support each other so the help and support she needs is put in place.

This can be done in different ways. Some young people like to think of an adult that they trust and feel comfortable talking to. This might be a family member, a friend’s parent or a youth worker. It could be somebody at school, like a teacher, or school nurse. If talking out loud feels like it’s too difficult for your friend, then writing it down and showing somebody she trusts can be an option.

To get immediate help, if she feels she is in danger, calling 999 is one thing to consider. Like all children and young people, your friend has the legal right to be safe. There is no right or wrong way to get help, it has to be what your friend feels is right for her. The important part is that she feels safe and supported. No matter how difficult it feels to tell somebody, it’s the right thing to do.

As you will know, it’s not easy to support a friend that is being abused. It’s important that you get some help too, as your thoughts and feelings are important and you too need to take good care of yourself during this difficult time. Everybody needs support in their lives and sometimes we need that little but extra. Perhaps you could also think of an adult you can trust, like a family member or somebody at school. It might help to have someone who you could talk to about what it’s been like to support your friend. If it doesn’t feel like there’s anyone there to talk to at the moment, you would be very welcome to call a ChildLine counsellor on 0800 1111. You are important and you matter - you are being so brave, strong and responsible in trying to help your friend and you can feel very proud of yourself.

Take care

Sam

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