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To Sam

PLEASE, PLEASE HELP MY FRIEND

My bestfriend has been physically abused by her dad as long as she can remember and she has scars all over her body to prove it.

Tonight we facetimed and she wouldn't show me her face. I told her to because she is beautiful but to my horror she had scars, bruises and cuts all over half her face.

Her dad had punched her, scratched her and hit her. In the past he has come home drunk and broken some of her ribs causing her to spend 3 weeks in hospital.

Her dad wanted her to have councilling because she's "messed up". This makes me sick because he is the one causing this and he can't see how beautiful and amazing she is.

Please can you help me

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Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for your letter.

Any kind of abuse is wrong. No one has the right to hurt another person.

Helping a friend can be very difficult, especially if the friend doesn’t seem to want anyone to know about what is going on for them. Perhaps something you could do is to find out from your friend what she wants to happen. If she would like some help to get the abuse stopped, you could encourage her to talk to someone who can help her. This could be a teacher at school or another adult she trusts. 

If your friend spoke to a teacher they would involve social services and perhaps the police, who would want to talk to your friend about what is happening and also to speak to her dad. It would be a good idea for your friend to have evidence of the abuse, perhaps taking photos of her injuries and keeping a diary of what happens, including about the time when she was hospitalised with broken ribs.  

It might be that your friend doesn’t feel ready or able to tell anyone what is going on and that’s okay. Maybe you could encourage her to talk to a ChildLine counsellor who would listen and support her. We also have some information and advice about abuse and safety which you both might like to check out.

It could be that you too would like more support to help you cope with your friend's situation. ChildLine is there for you too. You can contact us for free anytime by phone, have an online 1-2-1 chat or send an email.

Take care,
Sam

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