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To Sam

my cousin

Hi sam, ​ yesterday I was with a group of my cousins and we were playing hide-and-Seek inside. One of my guy cousins wanted me to hide with him and i said " Sure, why not" we decided to hide in the laundry room and it was dark so i said i couldnt see he then grabbed my hand towards him and i ended up standing in front of him. We were quiet and all until i felt his hands on my hips and then he was just touching me on my chest and everything until he heard foot steps and stopped. ​ today we played the same game but i decided not to hide with him and to avoid him as possible and so i was looking for a hiding spot with one of my girl cousins and he said that there shouldnt be two people hiding at the same spot my girl cousin really wanted that spot so i looked for a different one upstairs. My guy cousin then drags me to his bedroom and throws me on a bed and then gets on top of me. ​ I dont know what to do and i dont want to tell anybody anything cause they wont believe me and im sacred to say no to him so i just play along to his game im only 11 and hes 14. what should i do?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

It's not okay for anyone to touch you in ways you don't want to be touched. Sometimes people might try and take advantage of being close to you to do things that they shouldn't. What's happening is not your fault, and it's always okay to tell someone about something that makes you scared or worried.

Family members and close friends are supposed to be the people we trust the most. They are meant the be there to protect and support us, so it can be very hurtful when that trust is broken.

What you've described falls under sexual assault. Sexual assault or abuse can happen in a lot of different ways. It means when someone is forced, pressurised or tricked into taking part in any kind of sexual activity with another person. Touching you in places on your body without your consent is not okay. You can tell your cousin knows it's wrong because he seems to wait for you to be alone - or forces you to be alone with him – before doing anything.

The way you've described what's happening it sounds like things are getting worse. Telling someone now means he can’t hurt you or anyone else like this, and that your cousin could get help for his behaviour.

Talking about this may seem difficult or scary. It's common for people to think they won't be believed about sexual abuse - but there are plenty of people who’ll believe you even if it doesn’t seem like it now. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your family – try talking to a teacher or another adult you feel like you can trust. Childline has lots of advice about how to have a difficult conversation.

When you tell someone about what’s happening, try to remember the details about what happened, when it happened and where you were. This can be difficult, especially if what has happened has upset you or if you feel nervous talking about it. Writing this down can help make sure you don't forget anything that might help the adult help you.

If you want to talk more about how you’re feeling, or want to practice telling someone about what’s happening, you can talk to a Childline counsellor any time. Rehearsing saying it out loud over the phone can help a lot with feeling ready to tell someone.

You might not feel ready to talk to anyone about this – but might be worried about it happening again. It’s important to know that your safety comes first. Try to make sure you're not alone with him. It is always OK to say no, whoever it is and whatever the situation you’re in. It’s OK to run away or hide if you feel unsafe. But what’s happening is not your fault – and you have done nothing wrong.

It was very brave of you to tell me about this, I hope my letter has helped.

Take care.


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