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To Sam

Im unsure... is sexual abuse

When i was younger, my cousin told me he loved me more than a family member should. He always said nice things and spoke in a sexual manner, always asking for sex and texting all about these things he wanted to do. pictures were sent. Is this sexual abuse? Thanks.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

It can be really confusing if a family member behaves in a way that leaves you feeling uncomfortable. It could be hard to work out whether what’s happened is sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse is when someone is forced, pressurised, tricked or encouraged to take part in any type of sexual activity. This can include touching and kissing as well as being made to see or send intimate pictures.

Sexual harassment is a type of bullying in a sexual way. It can involve someone saying things that are inappropriate. Any of this could leave you feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed or frightened.

Sometimes it can help to talk through what has happened with an adult you trust. This can help you work out how you feel about what's gone on and if there is something you would like to do about it.

Sometimes it can be difficult to talk through what has happened. So it can help to write down what you’d like to say or practise it. The ChildLine counsellors can be there to support you with that, or to talk to about what's going on.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

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