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My friends uncle is inappropriately touching her

I don't know what to do because my friend told me that she was doing exercise with her uncle and at first it was fine because she was doing sit ups and he was holding her stomach, but then she said that he started touching her boobs and tried or did touch other inappropriate places and also said to her at 'she might do better exercise if she takes her shirt off'. Her parents are in another country because she came to stay with her aunt and uncle to study here. Pls help!
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Sam

Hi there,

What you’re describing is sexual abuse, and it’s wrong. Sometimes abusers try to make things which are wrong seem like they're normal or acceptable. But it never is. People (especially adults) who have a responsibility to look after young people should never take advantage of that situation. And it’s really important to tell someone when things like this are happening.

Your friend's done the right thing in telling you. It could be a good idea to suggest she talks to an adult she trusts. If she doesn’t want to do that, but you still feel worried, then it’s important you talk things through with an adult who can support you, like a parent or teacher. It can be hard to know what's the right thing to do to help a friend, but you could tell them what you were told and explain that you're worried your friend may be unsafe.

Young people in situations like this often feel that they don’t want to get anyone into trouble or cause upset within the family, particularly if their parents live or work abroad. But abusers will use this fear to have control, thinking that the young person will be too afraid to tell anyone. 

The Underwear Rule is helpful for deciding when to speak up. It’s aimed at younger children, but the rules still apply whatever age you are.

You and your friend are welcome to talk to a counsellor anytime you want to.

Take care,
Sam

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