Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Hi Sam, my friend's dad is currently abusing her.

Hi Sam,

Thank you for taking time to read this. I have recently been talking to a friend, and my friends and I have discovered that she is being abused by her Dad. We are all extremely worried for her, and also we know how hard it is to tell an adult or someone older, let alone a friend. We advised her to tell our teacher, but -understanding her problem- its hard to tell someone. We also advised her to seek help from a family member like an aunt, but unfortunatly her family doesn't keep in touch with her due to past history. I am not sure of what to do next, this situation has been going on for three months now, but as a friend and from the same age, i understand how hard it is to tell an adult about problems we may face. Is there any adivise or tips we could have to persaude our friend to tell someone?

Thank you

Ask Sam


Hi to all of you, and thanks for your letter.

I can hear how worried you are for your friend, and you’re being great friends by supporting her. I understand how hard this can be so it’s important you get support for yourself – we have some information about helping friends that would be good for you to look at. Nobody should be abused, but everyone copes with abuse differently and sometimes it can take people a while to feel ready before they can tell an adult and make things stop.

It might be that your friend isn’t quite ready to tell someone yet – and it’s okay if she’s not. In the meantime you could talk to her about ways to stay safe and ask her what she would like from you as her friend.

Helping her to move towards being ready is another important role you can play as her friends. Perhaps you can ask her what it feels like to think about telling an adult and what worries her about doing that. Maybe there is something you can do to help make telling someone easier, like going with her or helping her write it all down in a letter. We have a page about asking for help that you or your friend might find useful.

Your friend doesn’t have to tell an adult right away if she doesn’t want to – she could always talk to ChildLine about what’s happening first, as we can keep most things confidential. Sometimes people find that practicing talking about the abuse with ChildLine helps them to see that it’s not something they have to keep to themselves.

You or your friend can contact one of our counsellors either online or by calling 0800 11 11. She may also find it useful to ask other young people what happened when they told someone about abuse – we have message boards where you or your friend can do that.

I hope this has helped. Thanks again for getting in touch,

Need help straight away?

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

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