Ask Sam letter


To Sam


I know a lot of people argue with their parents, but arguments with my dad seem to turn into something more such as fighting and hitting. Recently my dad attacked booted my dog for not listening to him, and my dog means everything to me, so I picked her up and then he started shouting at me and grabbing me, telling me to drop the dog, but if I did he would kick her again, therefore he started taking out on me calling me abusive names, and im fed up as being treated in that manor because I am 16 and it hurts, now because I am old enough I have came to the decision that I don't want anything to do with my dad now, and want him out my life, I want to take him to court or something and get him out my life, a restraining order something like that, but I need advice on how to go about this matter, please can you help me ?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter and telling me about how things are for you. It sounds like your dad has treated you very badly and you have had enough of it. You tell me that he has hit you and called you abusive names and that is physical and emotional abuse. It is wrong that your dad has treated you this way and you have a right to be happy and safe. 

I can hear that you have decided that you no longer want to be treated this way by your dad and that you would like him out of your life. Your parents are responsible for you until you are 18 and although the way your dad is treating you is wrong and should be stopped, it may be that removing him completely from your life at this stage is something which is difficult to do. 

You could report what you dad is doing to the police or social services. They are an agency who keep young people safe, and they would be able to investigate what has happened. I can’t say for sure what they would do as it can be different in all cases but you have the right to be heard and you can tell them what you want to happen. 

Reporting your parents to the police or social services can feel like a big step and it might be that you don’t feel ready for that. Perhaps a first step would be telling an adult you trust such as a family member, a teacher or any other adult who you trust. That person could then support you in taking this further if you wished to. 

There is an organisation called the Children’s Legal Centre and they offer free legal advice to children and young people. They would be able to tell you more about what your rights are and the options you have with your dad. You can visit their website or call them on 08088 020 008 for free legal advice. 

Remember you can always come and talk to a ChildLine counsellor about how you are feeling and what you would like to happen. You can contact them by email, 1-2-1 chat or on the phone for free on 0800 1111.  

Take care,


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