Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Should i tell anyone

My best frend got raped and she told me not 2 tell anyone.. shud i keep it a secret or tell someone??
Ask Sam



Nobody has the right to hurt you or your friend and you’ve done the right thing to look for ways to help her. Rape is wrong and it’s against the law. It can be hard to support a friend when the problem is serious. Especially if you’re the only one that knows.

It’s important for both you and your friend to remember that this isn’t her fault that this happened – abuse can happen to anyone. Sometimes when people have been abused in this way, they don’t feel like they can tell anyone as it is such a private thing.

It’s put you in a difficult position because on the one hand I can tell you’re feeling like you probably should tell someone, but on the other hand you want to respect what she wants. There’s a lot to consider – whether she is too scared to tell anyone the details, even if you did tell someone yourself.

The first thing to do could be to encourage her to get support for herself and to make that choice to tell another person. If there isn’t an adult she feels ready to tell then you could encourage her to talk to ChildLine. As long as it fits inside our confidentiality promise then we won’t tell anyone what she’s said.

If she still doesn't want to tell someone, then it’s important to do whatever you think is right for you. You’re being a good friend by being there for her, but you also have to consider your own feelings about keeping this secret. It’s always okay to tell someone else – especially if you feel like she is in danger of it happening again.

It might be helpful for both of you to look at our page about rape and sexual assault together.

There are ChildLine counsellors here through the day and night whenever you and your friend want someone to talk to. Your friend won’t be pressured into talking about anything that she isn’t ready to talk about.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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