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abuse

Dear Sam, I'm not sure what to do. I'm 13 years old and my mum hits me nearly every day, sometimes with a belt. She says its my own fault and I deserve it, is that true? A few of my friends know and some people at school have guessed because I sometimes have to show up to school with injuries on my face which is really embarrassing. Should I tell someone? My mum found out that one of my friends knew and she was really mad and belted me for it to the point that I was on the floor crying, just wishing for her to stop but not being able to do anything about it. I don't even want to think about what will happen if I tell an adult and she finds out. Is there anything I can do to stop it apart from telling? Living with my dad isn't really an option, and my older brother is almost as bad as my mum so no help is coming from him either. This has been going on since I was little and my brother died. This is probably what caused my mum to hate me so much, she says its my fault he died. I know this isn't true but it's still horrible to hear it and all the other stuff she says ("I hate you" "you're ruining my life" "you were an accident" "I wish you'd never been born" ect...) I hope you can help me.
Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

Thank you for your letter and well done for writing in to get some support, it’s been a brave thing for you to do.

I’m really concerned to hear that your mum is hitting you nearly every day with a belt. What your mum is doing is physical abuse and it’s very wrong of her.

Nobody has the right to hit you. It’s not your fault and you don’t deserve this, no matter what anyone says. I’m also worried that you say that your brother is nearly as bad. It sounds like things at home have been frightening, upsetting and confusing for a long time now.

I can hear that you think your mum’s behaviour towards you is linked to the death of your brother. Whilst I imagine his death was really hard on all of you, that doesn’t make it okay for your mum to behave like this. You’re  right to say that his death wasn’t your fault. Your mum telling you that it is your fault is a form of emotional abuse, just like all the other horrible things that she’s been saying.

There are people who can support you and help to make things change. If a young person isn’t being looked after properly for any reason then social services are there to help keep them safe from harm. They work with families to try to find a way for children to be safe at home. If that’s not possible, they will look at other options, like finding young people somewhere else to live.

A ChildLine counsellor could help you talk to social services and so could someone like a teacher or a doctor. 

It sounds like you’re extremely worried about what might happen if your mum found out you’d talked about being hit at home. If social services were told about what’s happening they would have a responsibility to make sure that you weren’t left in a situation where you could be hurt. If there are any times you feel that you are in immediate danger you can call 999 for the police.

ChildLine are here to support you, whatever you decide to do. I think it would really help you to talk all of this through with a counsellor before making any decisions. You can do this by calling 0800 1111 (all calls are free and don’t show up on the bill) or by logging on for a 1-2-1 chat (it works like instant messenger).

You’ve done really well to write this letter and you deserve to be happy and safe.

Take care

Sam

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