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My friends been down in the dumps

It's probably nothing but I'm really worried...
My friends been really down and upset lately. She bursts into tears randomly. I ask her why and she just says I'm fine, great in fact. I think it's about her boyfriend because everytime she sees him she gets really scared and then runs in the toliets and stays there for ages. As far as I know she's still going out with him. She told me once that she'd had sex with him but didn't feel right doing it. Then she told me they'd done it again and burst into tears after telling me. Could there be more to it?
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for sending me a message.

I can hear that you’re really concerned about your friend and you’ve done the right thing contacting me.

It’s normal for there to be good and bad times in any relationship, but I agree that it doesn’t sound good that your friend is scared whenever she sees her boyfriend. She has the right to be happy and safe in her relationship and if she’s feeling this nervous around him that really concerns me.

Hearing what’s been going on for your friend, makes me think that this relationship may be abusive. You’ve mentioned that your friend didn’t feel right when she had sex with her boyfriend. This makes me very concerned as she may have felt pressured or forced into having sex against her wishes. If this is what happened to your friend, it’s important that she knows it was wrong and that it wasn’t her fault. If your friend ever feels she is in danger she can call 999. The emergency services are there to help her and make sure she is okay.

The website This Is Abuse gives more information about abuse in relationships which may be helpful for you and your friend to read. The Relationships page in Explore also gives more information about relationships and what can happen when in one.

It sounds like your friend might be finding it hard to talk about what’s happening. You might want to read the advice in Explore about Helping a Friend. You sound like a really caring friend. Helping a friend through tough times can be upsetting and difficult so it’s important that you get support for how you’re feeling too. This could be from speaking to a counsellor at ChildLine a trusted adult or even your school counsellor.

You may find it useful to read the ChildLine message boards. This is where you can get support from other young people in similar situations, such as supporting a friend or relationship problems.

If you want to speak in more detail about what has been going on, you can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111, have an online 1-2-1 chat or send them email. You can also suggest this to your friend so ChildLine can support her with how she’s feeling.

Take care,

Sam.

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