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To Sam


Will you help me with my problems. I have been sexually abused and I'm not sure how to tell someone in my family that I love. I have told some of my close friends and they are very supportive but I need to tell a family member. I am not scared to tell somebody in my family I am only scared about what will happen after. Please help xxx
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Telling someone that you’ve been sexually abused is a really hard step to make. But you don’t have to keep it to yourself, no matter what anyone says to you. And it’s up to you who you tell and when you tell them. What happens after telling someone about sexual abuse is going to be different for everyone, but here are some things that might help you prepare.

Coping with sexual abuse is often hard. But to cope alone is even more difficult. Once you tell someone you trust and they're aware of what’s happened, they might be able to help.

Once you’ve told one person, you can then use them to help you tell others. In your case, you’ve told your friends so they may be able to support you in telling a family member, if you feel comfortable with that.

Being worried about what’ll happen next can be a very hard thing to cope with because nobody can ever say for sure. What might help you though is to think about what you’d like to happen, so that you can share this with your family at the same time. If you tell them what’s happened with the abuse, as well as what you want to happen next, then they have the best chance of following your wishes.

It might be good to also remember that sometimes the adults who care for you might need to do things you don’t want them to do. This might be hard to think about, but it’s good to remember that if this is someone who cares about you then they will want to do what’s best.

If you want, you can always tell a counsellor first. They keep what you say confidential, so you can talk about what you want to happen next with them, to see what they think about it.

I hope that helps.

Thanks for the letter,

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