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To Sam

My brother has been beating me!

Okay, so to give you a quick run-down, my mother abandoned my siblings and I when I was nine. I am 13 now. She did drugs, and sold our things. I guess I'm the luckiest, because being younger made it to where I didn't understand.

My brother is bi-polar, just like our mum, and they both used to beat me. My mum broke my door, and would yell at me when my dad wasn't home. Her and my brother had a close relationship I was jealous of. Now that she's gone, he beats me, and hits me.

Here's an example. If we have an argument, and I start to walk away,  he'll take my arm and bend it backwards to the point where I hear a snap. He's broken my bones before, and my dad does nothing about it. My brother never tells him, and threathens to kill me if I tell my father.

My brother is so much stronger than me, and I'm scared he'll truly hurt me. He's sixteen, so he doesn't have to worry about going to prison.

What should I do? Should I tell my dad, or not?

Thanks! :)

Ask Sam

Sam

Hello there,

Thank you for getting in touch with me. It is really great that you have been able to tell me what life is like and ask for some help.

I would like to reassure you that family relationships can be very difficult at times. Sometimes brothers and sisters argue but it is always wrong for anyone to hit you and to threaten you. What your brother is doing is a form of physical abuse - it is wrong and should not be happening to you. None of this is your fault and it’s important that it stops.

Thinking about how you can try to keep safe at home might be helpful. You always have the option to call 999 for help if your brother threatens to beat you. Physical abuse is against the law and you are protected by the law. You are important and you matter.

I am concerned to hear that your brother has threatened to kill you if you tell your father. It could be that your brother is trying to scare you and stop you from telling your father because he knows what he is doing is wrong. You shouldn’t have to cope with being hurt at home alone and there is help available for you.

From your message it sounds like you’re left with injuries when your brother beats you and this is worrying. You have a legal right to be safe at home. It is important that you try and tell somebody because they may be able to help. I would suggest talk to your dad or even write him a letter. You could ask him to support you to see a doctor. A dcotor can help you with your injuries and also advise you on what support is available for you as a family. This could involve your brother getting some help for his bi-polar and behaviour towards you.

There’s also an organisation called social services that work with families who need extra support. You and dad could speak to social services directly and to ask for help. Alternatively, your doctor or school teacher could put you in touch with them. Teachers are not just responsible for your learning, they also have a duty of care for your safety and wellbeing at home. A teacher may also be able to refer you to someone like a school nurse or a school counsellor, who could give you some emotional support.

Having difficulties at home can make people feel very upset so it is really important that you spend more time doing things that make you happy and take your mind off things. You could try playing some games on the ChildLine website, speak to friends, listen to music, watch a favourite programme or read a good book.

I would encourage you to take some time to think about the suggestions that I have made. Please remember that ChildLine is always here for you if you wanted to talk to someone. You can get in touch with us by phoning free on 0800 1111, sending an email or logging on for a 1-2-1 chat which is like instant messenger - the counsellors would be more than happy to talk with you.

Take care,
Sam

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