How do I tell someone?

Think about it: would you want your friend to tell you? Duh, of course you would! Push aside your worries about people not believing you or not wanting to hear it. Tell someone you trust that you’re not being treated right.

What might help: how to tell a friend

Talking about it can make you feel less alone, and the person you talk to could help you to work out what to do.

Number one is to accept what’s happened. Then go and talk to someone. It is so important to talk to someone, be it your close friends or your Mum or Dad, family or siblings. Open up to and tell them, ‘Look, this is what has happened’ and see what they have to say.

Read Donna’s story

Talking to a friend

Talking to someone who cares about you can really help. It’s ok to feel nervous about telling someone.

For example, you might feel:

  • embarrassed
  • guilty that you’re telling a secret
  • scared of not being believed or of being blamed
  • afraid of your friend gossiping about it
  • that your friend might take sides with your boyfriend or girlfriend, or
  • worried about making the situation worse.

But there are good things about telling someone, like:

  • relief at finally getting the problem out
  • feeling less alone
  • getting someone else’s advice and ideas
  • getting safer, and
  • the person might help you to make the abuse stop.

A good friend that you trust can give you support, and maybe help to work out what you can do.

Talking to an adult you can trust

Do you need help to protect yourself?

Then think about also telling an adult or a counsellor.

It could be an older sister or brother, or your parents, a friend’s parent, a relative or a school counsellor). They might have some ideas to help you to feel safer.

Someone older could help protect you from your boyfriend/girlfriend, or they could talk to them and tell them that their behaviour isn’t ok.

They can also phone a service for advice.

When talking to your friend didn’t help

If the first person you speak to makes you feel bad or doesn’t take it seriously, then find someone else to talk to.

If it doesn’t work out with another friend, or it doesn’t feel safe to tell a friend or someone in your family, then there are the people who work in organisations that want to help you.

Contact them and they’ll listen and try to help you – either in person or over the phone.  Here’s what happens when you call.

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