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To feel utterly useless and powerless - sexual abuse, may be triggering

(9 Posts)
SeriousCreativeBlock Tue 03-May-16 21:13:53

I have a friend whose family member (age 13) recently ran away from home after suffering abuse from her father. She went to live with said family member, who I am close friends with, for six months, and them finally settled back into her mother's house a few weeks ago. Her mother lives next door to us.

The girl has started to become very friendly with my family. She likes to come and play with my DD and has seemed to form quite an attachment to me (possibly as I give her the attention of which she has been deprived, am quite maternal, and have offered her a sympathetic ear).

She opened up to me last night about the sexual abuse she has suffered at the hands of her 18yo step brother. This has left me quite upset, but as she's already vaguely told my friend what happened, I feel it's none of my business.

As I'm the only one she feels she can open up to though, I feel a kind of duty of care. Also as a survivor of sexual abuse it has hit home somewhat.

So aibu to feel there's nothing I can really do but urge her to seek counselling when she feels ready, and to offer a shoulder to cry on? I feel awful about this.

TheFuckersBitingMe Tue 03-May-16 21:20:55

I think you can give her hope that her future won't be defined by the disgusting choices and behaviours of others, I think you can show her that people have the choice to let things like that not hold them back, and you can show her that just because something shitty has happened, it doesn't prevent you from being an incredible person living a happy life. You underestimate the influence you could have on her. Just listen and remind her that counselling is there when she's ready.

ricketytickety Tue 03-May-16 21:28:35

You can't keep this 'secret'. You should ring nspcc and ask them what you need to do next. She needs your help if mum isn't dealing with it.

neolara Tue 03-May-16 21:31:15

Agree with rickety. She's made a disclosure so you must follow through and report.

RickOShay Tue 03-May-16 21:32:25

Just keep being there for her.

FeckOfffCup Tue 03-May-16 21:46:58

Yes I agree with rickety. Has it been reported already, as your friend is aware of it? Is the step brother still around/is she at risk? Could you speak to her about how she feels about talking to the police?

SeriousCreativeBlock Tue 03-May-16 21:54:48

Hi thanks for all the replies.
She lives with mum now, not dad, so she isn't in any immediate risk of harm. Mum is unfortunately unable to do anything about it due to disabilities - can't go any more into it, as it's very identifying.

My friend has asked her to go to the police, but she feels she can't at the moment which is fair enough. There were social workers involved during the transition from her dad's to my friend's house, so I'm not entirely sure if it would have come up then, but if it was she decided not to pursue it.

I really want to report it, but she expressly asked me not to, and while I'm aware that at 13 she is still a child and it should be reported regardless, I don't want to betray her trust and make her feel as though she can't come to me in the future.

SeriousCreativeBlock Tue 03-May-16 21:56:17

I have also made the point that should she feel ready to report it to the police, I will be there for her through 100% of the process. I really do hope she does report it, as it makes my blood boil thinking that this lovely, kind girl has been put through this by some sicko.

crazydil Tue 03-May-16 22:16:40

I wouldn't report it to the police unless shes comfortable with it. Shes so young,yet has been through so much. It would completely break her trust. Just continue to give her the support she needs, and just let her know that it needs to be reported and that shes safe. Poor thing

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