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Scared about my friend

My friend has been so down this last term at school and was last year as well, she was really close to this girl and now they aren't close but she told her everything and she has kept it quiet until now.

The girls she told everything to has just told us that last year her dad beat her. The girl who is being abused however is not saying anything and is always down and we can't do anything about it until she says something which she is not going to do because her mum works at the school and she is worried she will find out! She refuses to speak to anyone and we are so scared and worried about her.

The other day she came into school with a massive bruise on her face and she always gets changed in the bathroom when we have sport!


Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your message. It sounds like you're being a really good friend and that you're scared for your friend and want to try to help her. I can hear that this may be hard for you as she hasn’t talked to you directly about what's happening. It’s great that you have the support of your other friends but it seems like right now you might not know what to do.

Your friend’s safety is really important. Nobody has the right to hurt your friend and it is her parents' responsibility to care for her. You said that she's been beaten and left with bruises. This is physical abuse, and is illegal. Your friend has the right to feel safe and protected and there are people who will want to help her. 

Your friend may want someone to talk to about things at home, but it might be too scary for her to speak out at the moment. Perhaps you could try letting your friend know that you're there for her and just want to help. It might help her to know that she doesn’t have to go through this alone and that what's happening is not her fault. You could suggest that she speaks to a counsellor at ChildLine, or checks our website.

Perhaps you could also think about talking to an adult about what is happening to your friend. It’s important that your friend can get more help and support to stop this abuse from happening. You could think about telling a trusted adult like another member of your family, a teacher, school nurse or a friend’s mum. They may be able to help you speak to your friend about the seriousness of this issue and give you some more advice to support her. It’s worth knowing that teachers and other school staff have a duty to make sure that your friend is safe. This means that if you decide to talk to one of them, they may talk to your friend themselves. If they feel she is not safe then they might contact social services, who are there to protect young people from abuse. 

It’s not your responsibility to deal with this alone so remember Childline is here for you too. You might want to look at the Friends message board or read what it says about Helping a friend in the Explore section.

It can be difficult and worrying supporting a friend through hard times. If you would like to talk some more then please think about speaking to a counsellor by logging on for a 1-2-1 chat or caling 0800 1111. 

I hope this helps.

Take care,


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