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To Sam

Her Mum hits her.

My friend has a very rough home life. Her mum and dad have split up and her dad lives in Wales when she lives in England. She says she wishes things were easier and she has completely lost her mind because of all the stress. Her dad has a completely new family which makes her feel rejected. At home her and her mum dont get on that well. She eats her dinner in her room on her own, and when they have arguments her mum occasionally hits her. She tells me all the time how upset she feels and cries a lot. I don't know how to help and every time I tell her to speak to someone she says no way. What should I do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter. It sounds like your friend is having a really tough time at the moment and that you really care about her.

It seems like she finds it hard being so far away from her dad and feeling left out of his life. I’m not sure from what you’ve said whether your friend is having much of a chance to talk with her dad. If so, I’m wondering whether she’s been able to tell him about how she’s feeling to see if there is a way that they can perhaps work out that she gets to see or speak to him more – if that is something that she wants to do.

You say that she’s also not getting on well with her mum either and it sounds like it might be pretty lonely for her eating dinner in her room. I’m not sure whether you know what it is that seems to be causing the arguments between your friend and her mum and whether they do perhaps have times when they get on better and are more able to talk about things.

No parent or adult should be hitting their child, no one has the right to hurt a child.
If you ever feel really worried about a friend and like they might be in danger then it is important to either call the police on 999 or perhaps speak to adult you trust like a parent or teacher.

I know that you say that your friend doesn’t seem to want to talk to anyone, many young people feel this way. I’m wondering what it might be like to suggest to her about speaking to ChildLine. There is always someone here to listen to whatever callers want to say. Calls to ChildLine, on 0800 1111, are free and don’t show up on the bill. There is also an online 1-2-1 chat service that works like instant messenger. Some people prefer to talk to us this way and you can do it through our website. Tell your friend that we are a confidential service and this might help her to contact us.

There is lots of information on the ChildLine Website about different problems that people experience. There’s some about family relationships your friend might find useful. There are also the message boards, which is where young people can write about any problems that they may be having and others who might be in a similar situation can offer some advice and support.

You say that you don’t know what to do, but it sounds like you’re already doing something really important for your friend by being there and listening to her when she needs someone to talk to. Other things that may be helpful is just spending some time together so that friends have some time doing something other than thinking about issues with her parents and maybe gently encouraging her to speak to others like ChildLine or adults she trusts about how she is feeling. If you want any more ideas on how to support her we have some information about helping a friend

It sounds like it might be pretty hard for you too seeing your friend so upset and I want you to know that there is always someone here for you to talk to too.

Take care,


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

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