Belfast Telegraph

Don’t want him close to my child

Northern Ireland's number one agony aunt Fiona Hurley answers your problems

Dear Fiona, When I was about eight, my 18-year-old cousin would joke with me in private about getting breasts, boys and other age inappropriate stuff.

I remember feeling very uncomfortable and dreaded visiting his family.

Now I have a seven-year-old daughter and my cousin has offered to take her away for a weekend with his children. He never sexually abused me but I just don’t want her to go but can’t think of a good enough excuse.

Ciara, Belfast

Dear Ciara,

Sexual abuse doesn’t always involve overt bodily contact but also includes exposing a child to sexual situations, graphic material or explicit talk, among other things.

Sexual abuse even includes someone subtly making inappropriate remarks about a child’s developing breasts or an adult bathing a child who no longer needs or wants this level of personal care.

The child will feel embarrassed and humiliated, sense it’s wrong and sadly accept the shame and guilt that rightly belongs to the offending adult.

You’re under no obligation to give any explanation but simply saying you don’t like her staying away from home should be sufficient.

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