Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My friends dad

Every now and then my friends dad comes to see him and he had talked about his dad being unpleasant. I never really listened but today I witnessed it. His dad was shouting and grabbing onto his arm then he ran home crying. I'm worried and cares for him because he has also had a bad childhood too. Please help me do what's best for him?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. Seeing a friend being hurt is never an easy experience. It shows just how much you care when you do talk about wanting the best for him. You’ve done the right thing by writing to me.

It’s never okay for anyone to grab your friend’s arm and shout at him in a way that leaves him feeling like that, especially not his dad. It’s always important to take it seriously when someone is being hurt. If you’re not sure what to do, a good place to start can be to imagine how you would feel if you’d gone through a difficult experience and how you would want others to react.

It’s also important to remember what your friend wants when it comes to decisions about his life. This doesn’t mean that you can’t tell anyone if you’re worried about him, but it’s important that you’re always listening and asking what your friend wants when you’re thinking about how to support him.

There’s some useful advice on our page about helping a friend that would be good to look through. You could also have a read of our physical abuse page

You might also want to think about asking an adult for help. It can help to tell your friend that you are worried about him before you do talk to someone. This could help him to see that what’s happening is serious.

When I read your letter I was wondering what all of this was like for you. It can be a massive shock to see a friend go through something like that and it’s important to remember that how you’re feeling is always important too.

You can contact a counsellor at ChildLine to get support yourself in whichever way you feel most comfortable. You can have an online chat, send an email or even call for free on 0800 1111.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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

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