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to what extent is my parent allowed to hit me?

hey sam when my dad gets mad, he sometimes gets a bit physical. hes a loving dad and is good to me most of the time, but not always. he sometimes makes me upset with comments he makes. but today me and my mum were discussing climate change and she said it has nothing to do with her generation, so we got into a bit of an argument. my dad later walks in and tells me im wrong even though he doesnt have the slightest idea about what we are talking about. so when i raise my voice, he punched me in the face and pushed me into a wall. is that ok? thank you

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Sam

Hi there,

It's never okay for someone to hit you, especially the people who are supposed to look after you like a parent or carer. There is nothing you can say or do to make it okay to hurt you and it's not your fault if someone does.

If someone punches another person, then this is assault. A lot of the time children think it's okay for a parent to hit them if they’ve done something wrong, but it's not. You have a right to feel safe and not have to defend yourself - especially at home where you should feel the safest. Childline has some advice about coping with family problems.

You might be being hurt a lot and if you are then this is called physical abuse. Abuse can have a big impact on you as it might mean you start to feel more distracted at school, struggle to see other people and affect your mental and physical health. It's not okay for anyone to physically abuse you and you can get support to make it stop.

Telling someone what's happening at home is not always easy. Some young people tell me that it feels like they are betraying their parents by telling someone, but it's important to remember that your parents know what they are doing is wrong. They are making the choice to act this way and so it's not your fault. A lot of young people also worry that by telling someone they will be taken away from their parents but this is a last resort for very serious cases of abuse. Most of the time there will be help available to you and your family, which can make home a safer place.

The first step to telling someone is deciding who to talk to. It might be a teacher, another family member or some other trusted adult. You can talk to a Childline counsellor 24/h a day – on the phone or online - before deciding who to tell. They can listen to your problem and you can chat about what might happen next.

I hope this has helped, thanks for sharing.

Take care,

Sam

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