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My Friend

I'm so scared that my friend is being sexually abused. Her mum recently remarried and their baby died at birth about 6 months ago. My friend's stepdad has been acting strangely and so has she. She's cut herself off from everyone and doesn't really concentrate in class anymore. She always carries this red notebook about and writers in it all the time but she won't let me see it and we've always been so close. Her arm looks bruised and when anyone bangs into her, she winces and tries to hide it. The other day, I asked her what was wrong and she looked really scared before she told me to leave her alone. I don't know what to do... Please help x
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Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for getting in touch and letting me know how you are feeling in regards to your friend.

It sounds like you’re really worried about your friend, from what you have said she has been through quite a lot recently, with her mum remarrying and then having to cope with the loss of their baby. There has been a lot of change in her life and it seems as though this is showing in her behavior when she is around other people.

I can hear you are really worried that your friend might be being sexually abused by her step-dad, if this is happening it is wrong and it should not be happening. You can find out more information on sexual abuse here. It could be good to have a look at information like this so we can try to be clear about what we think might be happening to someone we care about.

You also mentioned that your friend had bruises on her arm and winces when someone bumps into her, your friend has the right to feel happy and safe in her own home, nobody has the right to hurt her, you can find out more about physical abuse in our Explore section.

You mentioned your friend carries a little red note book that she is always writing in, this sounds like it could be a diary, diaries can be a very personal thing it's where people can write their feelings and thoughts in private and not let anyone else see it. I can hear you are finding it frustrating not knowing what she is writing or even hurt by the thought your friend won't confide in you about what is in the note book. But what’s important to remember is this book may be very important and helpful to your friend.  Sometimes people use books like this to get out how they feel and may not be ready to let anyone else know those thoughts and feelings, it’s important to respect this.

Your friend might want to talk to someone about what is happening for her but it might be a scary thought for her at the moment and that’s okay, being a good friend and letting her know that you are there for her when she is ready to talk will remind her that she is not alone. You could let her know that you are worried about her but she does not have to tell you anything that she doesn’t want to.

You said that you don’t know what to do and asked for my help, It’s hard for me to say what you can do next with your friend because it sounds like she is not quite ready to let you know what is going on for her but what you could do is think about talking it through with a counsellor in a 1-2-1 chat at ChildLine so they could support you and explore what options you might have.

Take care

Sam

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