Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My friends problems

My friend from school broke down into tears today, I took her outside and asked her what was wrong... She lifted her head up and said 'my dad beats me', I was in total shock!

I was wondering what you think I should do. I'm worried about her because she only lives with her father and if she go's into care I know she will be more unhappy.

We go to a private school which she loves and if she had to leave that will knock her confidence even more.

please help

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter. It’s really tough knowing that someone we care for is being hurt, so I’m pleased you’ve got in touch to tell me what’s going on.

Your friend’s safety is really important. If you ever feel she’s at immediate risk (for example if her dad has told her he’s going to hit her) you can call 999 to get help to her straight away. Maybe you could let her know that she can do this too if she needs urgent help for herself.

Beating someone is a form of physical abuse and it’s wrong. Your friend’s dad needs to stop hurting her like this. The Explore pages have some more information about physical abuse that you might like to take a look at and share with your friend.

I can hear how worried you are and it sounds like both of you could do with some support. Perhaps you could think about whether there’s an adult you trust, like maybe someone in your family, or a teacher at school, who you could talk to about this. It may be that you and your friend could think about this together. You could even offer to go with her and help her to talk to someone. Don’t be offended if your friend doesn’t say much more to you about her dad, it might be too difficult for her right now. You might want to suggest that she calls ChildLine, if she doesn’t feel ready to talk about it face to face yet.

Social services work with families who need extra support and it’s possible that the adult you talk to could help your friend to get in touch with them. I can hear that you’re worried about the effect on your friend if she had to go into care or leave your school. I want you to know that social services would listen to how your friend felt and what she wanted to happen before making any decisions. They are there to work with families and make sure young people are looked after as well as possible

ChildLine are always here for you and your friend to talk to. You can speak to a counsellor for free by calling 0800 1111, logging on for a 1-2-1 chat or by sending an email. You might also find it helpful to get support from other young people on our message boards.

Take care


Need help straight away?

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

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