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To Sam

I don’t know how to feel

I was raped by my partner of 4 years he was remanded for 4 months but was found not guilty at trial since then I was re building my life slowly and then I have spoken to my rapist he said he is sorry and wants to start to meet up again , he really seems like he has changed when we was together he was on drugs but now he’s working and seems to be a different person please help

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

When someone hurts or abuses another person it’s usually best they don’t see them anymore. Whatever the verdict of the court, your experience gives you the right to cut them out of your life if you want to. If an abuser was close to you then it can give you mixed feelings about them, especially if they seem to have changed.

The way you were treated by your partner in the past was wrong.  It was not okay for him to rape you and, even though he has apologised to you, it doesn’t make it right.  You don’t have to be in contact with him or see him unless you choose to.

When faced with a difficult decision it can make you feel worried and anxious.  It can help to write a list of the good and bad things about each option, to help you understand it better. This means also thinking about what you would get out of being friends with this person again and whether that would affect your ability to move on from what he did to you.

It can also help to speak to someone about it, like an adult you trust or a close friend. You might also want to speak to someone who doesn’t know him, like a counsellor at Childline . It might help to speak to a couple of different people to get their various viewpoints. Someone who knew what you went through in the past may bring up thoughts and ideas that you haven’t considered.

If you do decide to continue speaking to him or developing your relationship further make sure that you take care of yourself.  This could mean building in some safety elements, like not being alone with him, letting someone know where you are if you’re meeting him in a public place and always having your phone with you and charged.

It’s important to remember that you can say no to anything you’re uncomfortable with and you can end a relationship at any time if you feel that it’s not working out for you. If you have any concerns that he may not listen if you did choose to say no or end things, this could be a sign that perhaps he hasn’t changed as much as you think he has.

Remember: if you want someone to listen, no matter how you’re feeling, a Childline counsellor is here for you.

Thanks for your letter, take care.

Sam

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