Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My friend is getting hurt


My friend goes to the same scout group as me, and I'm getting really worried about her. She trusts me and told me what goes on at home - her Gran abuses her, and her parents are hardly ever there. Apparently at school she's really quiet but with me, she talks non-stop but always tries to avoid the issue of her parents until she trusts me enough to open up again.

Once, she came to scouts with what I thought was hot chocolate around her mouth - it was actually blood. She has loads of other scars as well - what should I do?

Ask Sam



Thank you for you letter. I can see how concerned you are about your friend. It is good to know she has people like you around her, people that care.

I can hear you’re not sure what to do. I’ll try to give you a number of suggestions so you can decide what you think is going to be the best thing to do.

Firstly, it is important that someone checks that your friend is safe and can receive support if she wants it. It would be really good to pick an adult you trust and talk to them about what she has told you and what you have seen. You might want to talk to the Leader of your Scout group, one of your parents or maybe your teacher. I can see your friend doesn’t go to the same school as you but your teacher should be able to pass information to your friend’s school.

If you feel talking to an adult is not the right thing, another option would be for you to call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. Childline is confidential so we will not tell anyone what you say or what your friend tells us, unless you ask us to. The NSPCC is different and they can take the information you've give them about your friend and get help for her. If you choose to call the NSPCC they will need your friend’s name, her age, if possible her address and her school. If you could have that information available when you call, that will be helpful. Any adult that you speak to would also be welcome to call the NSPCC Helpline for support or advice.

I also suggest you think about telling your friend about Childline. You could tell her what you think about Childline and let her know she will be very welcome and can call us on 0800 1111 (free call) or contact us through a 1-2-1 chat on the web site.

You are being very helpful for your friend by being there for her and letting her know that you will listen. Well done for doing that. You might like to read some more Advice about helping a Friend in Explore. If you would like to talk to one of our counsellors about how you feel about this, or anything else, you are always welcome. If we can help you in any way, let us know.

Take care


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