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Dear Sam, I am worried about my friend, her dad is abusing her, I'm the only one who knows, she won't tell anyone, she won't get support or anything, she ends up self-harming herself because she is scared of him and she doesn't know what else to do? Please help!!!
Ask Sam



Thank you for writing to me.

I can hear how worried you are about your friend and you want to be able to help her. When you’re the only person that knows something about another person it can feel like a big pressure to think of how you can help.

It’s not okay that your friend’s dad is abusing her – families are meant to look after each other and I imagine it could feel very upsetting for you to know what’s happening and to see her when she’s scared and upset.

It sounds like you may have tried to encourage her to get help but she doesn’t feel ready to tell anyone else just yet. Even just letting your friend know that you’re there for her could feel reassuring. She may be feeling scared to think about what might happen if she tells someone

It’s important to remember that it is not your job to think of a solution – and you’ve done the right thing to decide to tell someone else. It might be helpful to look at our page about helping a friend.

Your friend is dealing with a lot of very difficult feelings and sometimes when a person self-harms this is a way to get the feelings out instead of keeping everything bottled up inside. If there’s ever a time that you’re worried about her immediate safety you can ring 999 for emergency services and tell them as much as possible. They will want to try to keep her safe too.

It would also be good to suggest to your friend that she could talk to a counsellor here at ChildLine. We understand that it can be hard to know what to say at the start, but she can choose whether to talk online or on the phone – whichever suits her best. You could even show her the Childline website and then it’s her decision to contact us in her own time.

It sounds like it might be very hard for you to find a balance in your life when you’re so upset and worried about your friend and it’s important to look after yourself too. We’d really like to be able to support you both and there are counsellors here whenever you need them.

Take care,

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