Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Hello my name is Rachael and i wanted to know if this was emotional abuse.

Well me and my dad haven’t ever got along even when I was little but when he drinks alcohol he is really violent he use to hit me and now he always threatens to hurt me in some way and tells me I should be dead, he says I’m weird, lazy, worthless, nothing, swears at me, threatens me, shouts at me, makes offensive jokes about this condition i was born with and it really upsets me.

What should I do? I’ve already got social services involved and i cannot tell my mum because she died 3 years ago so I’m all alone x

Ask Sam


Hi Rachael,

Thank you for writing to me, it sounds like things have been difficult with your dad for a long time and it’s brilliant that you are talking about this.

I’m really worried about how your dad has been treating you. Nobody has the right to treat you that way and whether he still hits you or not, nobody should be calling you names like your dad has and certainly not threatening to hurt you. Being put down like this on such a regular basis can be considered to be emotional abuse. You can take a look at the ChildLine page on Emotional abuse for more information.

I can tell that you’ve been feeling really alone in the house since your mum died three years ago. It can be more difficult to deal with things at home when you are feeling that there’s nobody there to talk to about it, or to support you. It’s brilliant that you have spoken to social services but it sounds a little like they’ve not done enough to be able to make you feel safe at home. It’s important that you do talk to your social worker about what things are like. Remember, you always have the right to talk to your social worker on your own, without your dad present if you want to.

Sometimes it can be difficult to face talking to social services on your own, even if they have already been involved. It can be good to think about the people you have in your life who might be able to support you. For example, a teacher you get on well with, someone in the family other than your dad, or even another adult that you trust. When you talk to them it might be good as well, to think about what you could do if your dad does get drunk. It can help to have a plan of safe places you can go if you need to, like a friend's house, or people you can call if you do need to talk.

It’s important that you remember that if you ever feel immediately unsafe, you have the right to call the police on 999 at any time. Calling them doesn’t mean that you’ll get in trouble, as their main priority is to make sure you’re safe.

If you want you could talk about this to a ChildLine counsellor, they can talk to you about anything and are there to support you no matter what. You can talk to one online, through the 1-2-1 online chat or by email or you can call them on 0800 1111 (it’s completely free and won’t show up on the phone bill).

Another place that might be good for you to look at is Alateen. They offer advice and support for any young person who has a family member abusing alcohol.

Take care,


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