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To Sam

scared of being alone outside after being raped

Hi A few weeks ago I was out with some friends and we got split up and we had been drinking and this guy had been watching us all night and when we got split up he showed up and followed me and raped me and I couldn't get away I just froze and now ever since it happened I'm to scared to be alone when I'm out or I start having panick attacks and I get really anxious and I haven't told my friends what happened and they just think I'm being weird and I don't know what to do to make it stop so I've started staying in the house more and I skip school do you have any ideas on how I can handle my anxiety and stuff please thanks
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for writing to me. I can't imagine how hard this has been for you. What happened is wrong, it is not your fault, and no one has the right to hurt you in any way. I can hear how much this has affected you. You've been really brave to talk to me about it. This is the first step to getting the help you are looking for.

It‘s important that you are checked for internal injuries or infections due to the rape. This may sound difficult, but your health is very important and you deserve to get help. You can get help from your local Brook Advisory Centre, by talking to your GP, or by visiting your local accident and emergency department. It may be that you could ask someone to go with you, a parent or carer perhaps, if you felt able to talk to them about what happened.

It sounds really hard for you to talk to people about what happened, these kind of feelings are normal after such a traumatic experience, and I wonder what it would be like for you to talk this through with someone. To cope with something like this you could get some professional help from a therapist. The first step to doing this is to talk to your GP about what happened and how it’s affected you.

You asked for some ideas on how to handle your anxiety. When you start to feel anxious, it can help to tell yourself these things:

  • I am in control
  • This is just anxiety
  • This feeling will pass

You can also concentrate on your breathing if you feel anxious. Breathe in and out gently and slowly. You could also try to distract yourself - for example, you could count backwards from 100 or you could count the objects around you.

We have lots more tips for controlling panic attacks and managing your anxiety - hopefully you will find some of these useful.  

You don't have to cope with this alone, there are people who can help and support you through this difficult time. ChildLine can be here to support you if you would like to talk – you can get in touch with a counsellor by phone, 1-2-1 chat or email. It's confidential and you can speak whenever you’re ready. We also have more information about rape and how to get help - I hope you find this page useful.  

Thank you for contacting me and I hope this helps.

Take care,
Sam

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