Ask Sam letter


To Sam

My boyfriend is threatening to kill himself if I don’t stay with him

I’m sixteen. My boyfriend told me before that he would kill himself if I didn’t have sex with, so I did, but lately he keeps yelling at me, calling me names. The other day, he hit me, so I broke up with. Well, I would’ve, but he said he would kill himself if I did, so I stayed. He keeps hitting me and I want to leave, but I don’t want him to die. What do I do?


Ask Sam


Hi there,

Blackmail is when a person says they will do something unless you do what they say. It's not okay for someone to put you under this kind of pressure or to make you do things you don't want to do. Blackmail can be against the law in some cases. It can be difficult to realise you are in an abusive relationship but there are ways to spot the signs and to get help.

As difficult as it might be, it's important that you know you are not responsible for your boyfriend's safety or happiness. It's wrong of him to say he will kill himself if you don't do the things he wants. Forcing you into sex through blackmail is sexual abuse and what he's done is not okay.

If you did think your boyfriend was going to kill himself, the best thing to do is tell an adult who is responsible for him - such as a parent or carer. It's their responsibility to make sure he is okay. In an emergency you can call 999 if you think he is going to kill himself right away.

Relationships can turn abusive when one person starts controlling, hurting or manipulating the other. Telling you he will kill himself if you don't do as he says is emotional abuse, hitting you is physical abuse and blackmailing you into sex is sexual abuse. It can be difficult to see when a relationship has turned abusive as it might happen slowly.

One of the best things to do when you think you might be in an abusive relationship is to share what's happening with someone that you trust. That person has a fresh perspective and can probably give you a good idea whether what's happening is okay or not. They could be a parent or carer, a teacher or another friend.

Remember that if you want to talk through your decision about what to do next, you can always talk to Childline.

Thanks for sending me this letter, take care.


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