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To Sam

Friends dad

I'm twelve and my friend who is also twelve is having trouble with her family. Her dad has abused her in the past and has tonight. She is getting really hurt and apparently has bruises all up her legs. She self harmed tonight and she really wants the abuse to stop but she really loves her dad and doesn't want him to go to jail or move away, she just wants him to stop hurting her. I really want to do something and am telling her to tell someone but she's too scared that he will hurt her more, I'm really stuck on what to do and need help
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks so much for writing to me about the worries you have for your friend. I’m really concerned to hear that she’s being physically abused by her dad. It’s very wrong that he’s doing it and your friend has the right to be protected and kept safe. Your friend seems to be getting hurt a lot by her Dad and it’s important that she gets medical attention for any injuries. No one has the right to hurt anyone else like that. If a young person ever wants to report abuse without giving their name, they can call a counsellor at ChildLine who can listen and help. It is important to remember that any young person can call ChildLine, including those who are concerned about others.

If you and your friend would like more information about self-harm, you can always take a look at the Young Minds webpage on it. It has advice about where young people can go to for advice about getting support for self-harming.

You sound like a really caring friend and it’s important that you have space to talk about how this is leaving you feeling whenever you feel you want to. When someone you care about goes through a difficult time, it can mean that life is hard for you too. It might be a good idea for you to get support for yourself because this sounds like a lot of responsibility to be trying to carry on your own. You have the right to get some help for you and you’re really welcome to talk to a ChildLine counsellor. Perhaps you could also think about talking to an adult you trust. Some young people also find it helpful to use the message boards to get ideas from other young people about what they’d like to do.

I’m really glad that you wrote and I hope that you and your friend get the support you need at this difficult time.

Take care,


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