Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Hello Sam I just wanted some advice on what to do about my situation because I am unhappy, my parents get drunk nearly every night we row all the time and sometimes they beat me up my dad tried to hurt me yesterday but I locked myself in the toilet because I was scared, today my mum pulled my hair and started to try and kick me in the stomach, sometimes I get bruises from when she hits me and its hard to explain it away when people ask at college, I am a little bit stupid at times and I sometimes swear at them I want to get away from them sometimes they say that I should move out because they dont want me in their house any more should I move out? Where would I go? I dont have any other family what should I do?
Ask Sam



Thank you for getting in touch with me.

It sounds like home can be a very scary place. It’s never okay for anyone to hurt you - no matter who they are. I’m so glad that you decided to write to me about what’s happening.

I’m very concerned that your mum and dad drink so often and hurt you - you don’t deserve for any of this to be happening to you. It’s important to remember that none of this is your fault and you’ve done the right thing to tell someone.

Lots of families are affected by someone who drinks too much and it can be very scary. When someone loses control over the amount of alcohol they drink they have a drinking problem and this is called alcoholism. Alcoholism is an illness so it may be that your mum and dad need treatment to help them. They can only stop drinking when they’re ready and they want to stop.

People around you have noticed some of your injuries and it sounds hard pretending that you’re okay all the time and not telling them what happens at home. Many families keep alcohol problems a secret and this can make it feel like you’re the only one that this is happening to.

Your parents are hurting you physically and I imagine that it’s very hurtful to hear them tell you that they don’t want you in their house anymore. I can hear how worried you are about what might happen next.

This is such a lot for you to manage on your own and it doesn’t sound stupid that sometimes you swear at your parents – I imagine that you could feel scared, confused and angry – and all of these feelings are bottled up inside.

You managed to get away from your dad the other day when you were scared. Thinking about how you can try to keep safe at home might be helpful too. If you feel frightened or have been hurt you can ring 999 for the police or ambulance service and tell them as much as possible – they want you to be safe too.

You have mentioned wanting to get away from them, and this is an option we can help you think about if you call ChildLine or start an online 1-2-1 chat. We can help you think about talking to Social Services about what is going on at home so they can think about the best way they can keep you safe, or how they can support your parents to learn how to take better care of you. Alternatively, NACOA is an organisation that helps young people living with a family member that has a drinking problem.

It can feel upsetting to talk about what happens at home but talking about your feelings can help to make sense of them and start to work out what you’d like to happen next. Sometimes worries can take over and I imagine it might be difficult to focus on your college work when all of this is happening at home.

I'm wondering if there’s someone in your life that you trust – maybe a tutor at college or a friend’s parent. Talking to someone like this could be the start of you and your parents getting some help. If you don’t feel ready to talk to someone at college you could talk to a ChildLine counsellor and they can help. Either by ringing our free phone number 0800 1111, having a 1-2-1 chat or sending an email.

You don’t have to tell anyone else that you’ve talked to us.

It’s taken a lot of courage to write to me and I hope we hear from you again when you’re ready.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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