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To Sam


Hey Sam, I was jogging through a park and a man (late thirties) approached me and started taking to me about life. At first I thought he was just being friendly but then he really started to creap me out, especially  when he asked for my name and  where I live.  I told him I'm 16 and he kept on talking to me. He should know better and not ask for my number which I did not give. I felt uncomfortable because he seemed so straight forward and intimidating . I told my family and they just laughed and joked about it. I do feel really upset and violated of what happened to me. Do you have any advice how not to let it get to me and get Sad about it. Thank you.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

It sounds like what happened with this man was really creepy and scary, and I can hear that your family’s reaction when you told them seemed hurtful and dismissive.

It sounds like you didn’t give him your name, number or where you live and that was the right thing to do. It is better to be cautious with people you don’t know and giving a stranger your name and other information about yourself can be dangerous.

I get the sense that maybe your family’s reaction made you feel you were overreacting, but your feelings are real and that’s what is most important. Feeling sad can be difficult but I think it’s important to say that you have not done anything wrong in reacting the way you have.

It’s important to remember that it is never the fault of the person being harassed. No one has the right to make someone else feel threatened or hassled and it is wrong.

It might be helpful for you to think about what might make you feel safer when you go out. It can be a good idea to plan your route before you leave. For example, try to stick to places where there are more people around and, during the winter and evening, check that all the places you go are well lit. If you have to go through a dark or very quiet area then it might be safer not to have music on during those bits so that you can be more aware of your surroundings.

If someone approaches you, you have the right to tell them you are not interested in talking to them. If they carry on trying to talk to you, it is them being rude, not you. It may be a good idea to carry your phone with you, as you have the right to call 999 for immediate help if you feel threatened.

It sounds like this has been a really upsetting situation for you and I want you to know that ChildLine is here to support you if you need it. You can talk to one of our counsellors by calling on 0800 1111, sending an email or logging on for a 1-2-1 chat.
You could also share your thoughts or get advice from other young people on our message boards.

Take care,

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