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To Sam

Family problems

I'm 17 years old and live in England. I currently live with my mother, my parents divorced when I was around 5. I want to leave my mum's and live with my dad. My reason for this is because my mum mentally and physically abuses me. I now suffer from depression because of what she puts me through. I can't carry on living the way I am it's unhealthy and I have suffers too long. My father won't allow me to live with him because he lives at his girlfriend's  and won't take any responsibility to help me. What can I do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Home should be somewhere that you are safe, and it’s completely understandable that you don’t want to live with mum when she is emotionally and physically abusive. It is wrong for mum to treat you this way.

If dad doesn’t know about how mum treats you it would be a good idea to tell him so he can understand why it’s so important that you are able to move out. If dad does know and is still unwilling to help there are other options.

At the age of 16 you can move out without your parents’ consent. As it’s not safe for you to live at home you are entitled to help from social services. They can help with things like you with things like money, housing and education or training.

It must be difficult to ask dad for help and to have him refuse. Talking to an adult that you trust can help. They may be able to help you come up with other options of places that you could stay and provide you with emotional support. They could also help you talk to social services.

It sounds like you are aware how this is impacting on your mental health and it’s great that you are trying to make changes so things can get better. Talking to your doctor will help as they may be able to put you in touch with services which can support you, such as counselling.

Talking about what has been happening can be difficult but you have done the right thing coming for support. Police and social services are there to help and if you wish to talk to them ChildLine can support you to do this. If you feel you are in any danger at home you can contact 999 for immediate help.

Remember you can always talk to a ChildLine counsellor about how this is making you feel.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

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

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