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To Sam

Sexaul Abuse.

Hi, Erm.. sorry about the topic thing there wasn't one to do with sexaul abuse.. I'm a 13 year old girl. My Dad's best friend sleeps over our house and he always touches my bum, legs, feet, arms and back.. He always slaps my bum.. I don't like it and i've told him to stop it.. (Hes about 40.) and I think that if he keeps doing it he might end up going way to far.. I know if I told my Dad that he proberly won't beleive me! He's at my house now, I've been hiding out in me and my older sisters bedroom (we share a room) and i only go down stairs to get my drink and something to eat.. I've told two of my friends about it.. But, I don't think one of them believes me.. what should i do?
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Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for your letter. What's happening is wrong and you’ve done the right thing to contact for some support.

You’ve told me about your dad’s best friend that sleeps over at your house. I am concerned to hear he has been touching you – he should not be touching you anywhere at all. You’re right to have labelled this as ‘sexual abuse’- any adult touching a child in this inappropriate way does mean the adult is being sexually abusive.

I can hear you are worried he will end up going ‘way too far’ if this is something that continues. He has already gone too far – just being touched once is enough for it to be sexual abuse. This is not something you have to put up with and you have a right for it to stop now. I can imagine this man might be making your home feel very unsafe and knowing he is going to be there might be making you feel very frightened about what he might do.

It sounds like he was at your house when you wrote your letter and I can see you are thinking about ways you can keep away from him when he is there. It is important to try and keep yourself safe. You haven’t mentioned where this happens and where everyone else in the house might be – one way you could think about keeping yourself safe is by trying to make sure you are never left on your own with him.

You’ve said you know that if you told your dad that he probably won’t believe you. It can feel scary to think about telling someone what is happening, but it’s also important to think about what could happen if your dad didn’t find out what this person is doing to you. Your dad has a responsibility to keep you safe and that means he has a responsibility to not bring people into your home that are harming you. It is possible that he will believe you too.

I noticed you said you share a room with your older sister. I’m not sure what the relationship is like with your sister, but perhaps this is someone you could tell? Or at least ask her to go with you downstairs to get your drink or something to eat. You shouldn’t have to hide in your room – you deserve to feel safe in your own home.

You’ve done so well talking about what has happened in your letter and you’ve had the courage to tell two of your friends about it. I want to say that I believe this is happening to you.

This is not something you have to go through on your own – there is support available. I would encourage you to talk with one of the ChildLine counsellors who will be able to provide you a safe space to talk more about this. The counsellors will believe you too. You can talk to a ChildLine counsellor by calling 0800 1111, logging on for a 1-2-1 chat or by sending an email.

Talking with a ChildLine counsellor can help to talk through what you would like to happen and even talk through or practice what you would like to say, if you are thinking about telling someone else, so that you can get help with what you are going through.

You might find it useful to have a look at our sexual abuse page as it might help to make you feel more comfortable about talking to a counsellor.

It can take so much courage to write in - so well done!

Remember you are not on your own; there are counsellors to listen and offer you support.

Take care,

Sam

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