Relationships with your loved one, family and friends

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If you are worried about how someone you know behaves around children or what they do online, we encourage you to get support by working through these sections and contacting our anonymous helpline.

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After the arrest of your loved one, it’s natural for your relationship with them to change, and you may find it challenging to understand what they’ve done.

Many family members we support go through a range of emotions like anger, betrayal, and hurt during this time, but they might also want to offer support.

It’s important for your loved one to recognise the impact on you. You can be there for them, but they also need additional support, especially if they feel suicidal.

Should I continue the relationship?

Deciding whether to continue your relationship or not is a deeply personal choice that depends on your own situation, which will be different for everyone. Take your time making this decision and ensure it feels right for you. Don’t feel pressured to rush, as your feelings might change over time.

Remember that it’s possible for relationships to continue after a police investigation. Open communication is vital, so talk to the person under investigation about their attitude and intentions to rebuild trust. You might also consider couples counselling together.

How to tell friends and family

It’s completely up to you to decide whether to tell friends and family about the situation. There is often stigma and shame associated with this type of offending and we understand that you may be worried about friends, family, neighbours, employers and the wider community finding out about the arrest of your loved one.

If you choose to tell someone you trust and feel comfortable with:

  • find a private space where you can talk openly without interruptions
  • let them know in advance that you have something difficult to share
  • allow them time to process the information, and agree on another date to meet
  • inform them about who else knows and whether it’s okay to discuss it with others
  • provide them with our helpline details, so they have a resource for advice and support

If you have any concerns, questions, or would just like to talk about what you are going through, non-judgemental helpline advisors are here to support you. You can stay anonymous and don’t have to give your real name, location or any contact details. If you’re not ready to speak to anyone yet, you can also use our live chat or send a secure email.

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