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Rape4

Well hi Sam i wanted to talk to you about Rape. I am 13 year old girl. No i have never been raped. But the thing is i live in a really harsh area or London and well i am scared. I got to school everyday with my friends and the only thing that seems to protect me is my school uniform. I walked down the high street where drug addicts are and drunk people stay . i walk there every morning and afternoon. The men always eyes me and my friends. If i didn't have my school uniform on and i am by myself i feels like i may be targeted. What do i do if they try to rape me or something?I cannot tell  my parents because they told me not to go down the high street and use the main road instead they will blame me if i told them and they would probably leave me homeless? Help me please?
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Sam

Hi,

Thank you for your letter. I can hear that you feel scared and worried about being out in your area. It sounds as though nothing has happened to hurt you but it also seems like the possibility of anything happening is something you give a lot of thought to.

It’s always a good idea for everyone to be cautious of possible dangers both when they are out alone or with their friends. You mentioned drug addicts and drunk people but it’s important to remember that any stranger, even one who looks kind enough, is still a stranger and therefore you should be aware of them.

You mentioned feeling like your school uniform protects you, but everyone has a right to feel safe all the time. Nobody is ever allowed to harm another person no matter where they are, what they are wearing or anything else. Rape is never the victim’s fault and is against the law. If you feel that strangers are acting in a threatening manner towards you, and you feel you might be in danger, you can call the police on 999 to get help.

When there are potential dangers of going down the high street or a route we often use, it can be worth thinking about an alternative route which could be safer. For example, one which is well lit, open and used by lots of people.

It seems that you are very aware of possible dangers when you are out and about. It’s a good idea to think about ways to keep safe generally, like staying together with friends, not going anywhere that a trusted adult doesn’t know about, and sticking to main roads and well lit areas which feel safe and have lots of people around. Perhaps you could think of more ideas too.

You are welcome to talk to a ChildLine counsellor about the situation at anytime by having a 1-2-1-chat (it works a bit like instant messenger) or by calling on 0800 1111 (this is a free number even from a mobile and it won’t show up on your bill). That way you can talk more about what happens and how it makes you feel without having to wait for a reply. ChildLine counsellors want to be there to support you.

You might also like to check out this link with some useful hints on how to ‘stay safe out and about’ page from connexions.

Hope this helps,

Sam

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