support for children 685Support for children

If someone at home is hurting you or another member of your family that is not okay. Nobody, of any age, should have to live with violence and abuse.

It is important to remember that what’s happening is not your fault and you don’t have to deal with it alone – there are people who can help you. Remember, hitting or hurting someone is against the law. Nobody has the right to hurt another person.

Seeing one of your parents hurt the other may make you feel scared or confused. You might feel too ashamed or afraid to tell anyone about what is going on at home. But talking to someone you trust can help.

Is there an adult you trust – a trusted adult friend, a teacher or doctor? If they are worried that you might get hurt they may have to tell someone else, but they should always tell you what they are doing first and to whom they are planning to talk. 

You can call Childline (0800 1111) or chat to a Childline counselor online any time day or night. You don’t have to tell them your name and the calls are free. They will listen to you, talk to you about what is happening and help you decide what to do next.

In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the police. Tell them what is happening and where you live. Try to stay on the phone so they can hear what is going on. Don’t try to get in the way to protect your mum, as you could end up getting hurt too. The police will come to your house and talk to your mum, dad or any other adults. They may even talk to you. They should make sure you and your mum are okay and have not been hurt. They may take away the person who was violent. But whatever happens you should remember that it is not your fault.

If one person hurts another person in the family, this is domestic violence. Domestic violence can involve physically hurting someone or bullying them emotionally. Domestic violence can happen to anyone.

There are many reasons why domestic violence happens, but the important thing to remember is that it is not your fault. No matter what anyone tells you, you did not cause this to happen and you don’t have to deal with this alone. We can help.

There are lots of places you can go to be safe. Some people have friends or family who offer them a place to stay. Lots of children go with their mum to a refuge – a safe house full of other families who have left home because of domestic violence.

Living in a house where there is violence does not mean you will be violent too. It’s important to realise you can choose how you behave. You can learn to respect people and that there are non-violent ways of dealing with feelings of stress and frustration.

Plenty of people grow up in violent homes but would never hurt anyone because they understand what it feels like to be treated that way. If you’re worried about the fact that you are feeling angry or frustrated, and aren’t sure how to deal with those feelings, try to talk to someone whom you trust.