Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Just to check, if your parents hit you to punish you, is that a form of abuse? Like, you're caught lying?

Also, my mum hit me a lot, usually during studying sessions. It's like, when she used to go through my textbooks with me, and if I fall asleep, answer wrongly, or did something that displeased her, she would normally hit my head. It stopped this year, but I'm scared that she'll just start again. And I think it's affecting me subconsciously, because I cannot stand adults touching me, especially if they remind me of her.

She also yells and screams a lot, and it's really painful for me. Sometimes, it's at the helper, and I just want to shut my ears. But if I do that, she would then yell at me, saying that I should not cover my ears. She screams at me too, and calls me hurtful things, like 'disgrace', 'idiot', 'slut', 'monster'... The list is endless. And not all the terms are applicable. She claims that 'slut' also means being messy, but it still hurts.

She also disregards my mental conditions, saying I have no right to be depressed, and compares me to my friend who managed to overcome depression. My depression has somewhat lifted, but maybe it's not only depression...

What should I do? I want to tell someone about this, but I'm scared that if I do, my mum will get in trouble, or go to jail. What should I do?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Nobody has the right to hurt you, no matter who they or are what their reasons are. There’s nothing you could do to make it okay for someone to hurt you physically or emotionally.

Abuse doesn’t have to be physical, calling someone names and putting them down can be a form of abuse too, called emotional abuse. Our page about abuse has more information about what abuse means and what can be done about it. Thinking about how to name what is happening to you can sometimes help, but can also bring up new feelings.

I can hear you are worried about your mum getting in trouble or going to jail, and it sounds like that has put you off telling someone so far. Think about what you would want to happen if you told someone. If you don’t want any action to be taken and just want someone to talk to, you can always talk to ChildLine.

If you talk to someone like a teacher and they are concerned about you they may have to tell social services, who are there to make sure you are living somewhere safe. They work with the family to try to improve things for everyone. It’s not about getting the parents in trouble, although it’s different for each situation.

If you would like to talk more about this, you could speak to a ChildLine counsellor and they could explain a bit more about social services. ChildLine is confidential, and you can find out more about our confidentiality on this page. However, if you wanted, we could support you to speak to someone like social services.

It is important to get support and I’m wondering what you think it might be like to talk to someone in your family or a friend you trust. There is some more information about this on our Asking an adult for help page. You might also find it helpful to look on the message boards to hear other young people’s advice and experiences with telling someone about problems at home.

Take care,

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