Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Sam, im really scared everyday my stepdad and mum fights they make me cry and they wont listen when i tell them to stop. i dont know what to do. :( he hurts my mum someone and my mum cant defend herself. he breaks stuff in the house when he gets angry. :( please reply asap!
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for writing to me about what is happening at home right now. You’ve done the right thing to get in touch.

I can hear that you’re scared at home because of the violence between your mum and step dad. I can imagine that being in the house when the fights are going on can be extremely upsetting and scary. It’s wrong that you have to see and hear fighting between the adults that are supposed to be looking after you – this is called domestic violence and it shouldn’t be happening.

It’s normal to feel confused, upset or scared if your parents or carers are arguing, but the most important thing you can do is keep yourself safe. Domestic violence isn’t your fault, and it’s not down to you to stop the fighting. I can hear how worried you are for your mum, but please don’t try to step in to protect her because this could put you in danger too. She is the adult, and it is her job to keep you safe, not the other way round.

It might be helpful to think about making a safety plan so that you already know what to do if your step dad is getting aggressive again, and you feel like you or your mum are not safe. A safety plan is a list of places you can go and people you can talk to if you need help. For example, you might decide to go a room with a phone and an easy way out, and phone a family member. If you or anyone else is ever in immediate danger, remember that the quickest way to get support is to call 999. You can find out more about making a safety plan on the Hideout website. Their website also has some useful information about domestic violence and the help that might be available for your family.

You mention that you have tried to talk to your mum and step-dad about your worries, but that they don’t listen to you. It was really brave to do that, but I’m concerned that your step dad might get angry if you talk to him about it again. Maybe you could think about contacting another trusted adult so that they can help support you, like a grandparent, auntie or teacher. ChildLine counsellors are here for you too. You can call them on 0800 1111, send an email or log in for a 1-2-1 chat.

You have done the right thing in contacting me to ask for help and I want you to know ChildLine is here to support you with whatever you decide.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

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