Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Dear Sam

My dad was abusing me so my friends told me to tell school which I did thinking they would just talk to my dad and get him to stop but instead they made a referral and the police and social services came to see me at school. So now my dad isn't allowed to live with us but he has no family near us so he has to stay in hotels or at friends houses in the first week of this arrange maybe it cost a lot o money for my parents and my mum is now having to ask my grandparents to look after us whilst she is at work which is a lot. I feel sorry for my mum as my dad can sometimes not be particularly co-operative so she has a lot of strain on her and I don't know whether I should have told school or not and how to help my mum. Social services are really dragging things out and it may take months before my dad can move back in and my parents are getting married soon and they don't know if they can afford it any more and it's my fault and I don't know what to do?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter, you have been really brave to write to me and to share a bit about how things are for you at the moment.

I am concerned to hear that your dad was abusing you, no one ever has the right to harm you in any way, not even your parents. It is wrong and you deserve to be supported with this.

It sounds like since your friends advised you to speak to someone at your school and a referral was made, the police and social services have been to see you. I imagine this was quite a scary time for you.

Your school has a duty to protect you and to keep you safe, therefore if you said to them that you were being abused in some way they would have a responsibility to pass on that information and it seems like this whole process is taking much longer than expected. You were surprised by the school making a referral as you did not expect that to happen. ChildLine has a different confidentiality policy which means that you can say more about what has happened to you. We only pass on information if we feel that you are in immediate danger that may be life threatening. You can read the full confidentiality policy here.

Since this happened your dad has not been allowed to live with you, and your mum has had to ask your grandparents to look after you. It is really important that you know that what happened was not your fault and you did the right thing by talking to someone about the abuse.

You said that you are not sure how to help your mum, talking about what has happened and how you both are feeling can be really helpful and a support for you both. Maybe, you might like to write your mum a letter if talking face to face seems difficult.

You mentioned that social services said that it may take months; unfortunately this can happen as they need to carry out an investigation and need to think about ways to try and keep you safe and figure out what is best for you.

It can be an upsetting and difficult time so it may be important to think about how you can support yourself, things like talking with your family and friends, doing things that you enjoy and maybe think about starting to write a journal as it can be a good way to express how you are feeling.

You have taken really positive and courageous steps, talking to your school and writing to me. I wonder what you think about the idea of speaking to a ChildLine counsellor about this some more. They have a free helpline on 0800 1111 which will not appear on the phone bill or you might like to have a 1-2-1 chat with a counsellor.

In the Explore section there is lots of information about abuse that you might find helpful to have a look at, it describes the different kinds of abuse and how you can get support to get it to stop. ChildLine also has message boards where young people who are going through similar situations can support one and other.

Well done for writing to me.

Take care,


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