Talk to someone
If you feel afraid at home or you think someone in your family is being abused, if there is fighting and arguing between your parents that is scary and making anyone feel afraid, the best thing you can do is speak to someone you trust.
STEP 1: CHOOSE SOMEONE
You could talk to a teacher, your friends’ parents, a doctor, a neighbour or a friend.
- School counsellor
- A friend of your mum
- A neighbour
- An older cousin
- Auntie / uncle
- A nurse
- A police officer
- A dentist
- A vet
- A doctor
- A babysitter
Step 2: Choose a good time to talk
Ask them if there is a good time to talk when they’re not busy and in private. For example, if you’d like to talk to one of your teachers, find them before or after class and ask them something like, “I need to talk to you in private, do you have a good time when we can talk alone?” You can also ask them if it’s okay to text, talk to them on the phone or email them, which might be easier.
- I want to tell you about some of the things that have been happening at home.
- I think the way my parents fight is not okay.
- I’ve been feeling stressed out about my family.
- Can I talk to you about something that’s happening at home?
- I’m worried about my mum and dad.
Step 4: Understand secrets and privacy
If you’re worried that they will tell other people about your family, you can ask them something like, “Will you keep this a secret?” or “Will you tell anyone about this?”
But here’s the deal: if this person thinks you or someone in your family is in serious danger, they have to think about telling the police or child protection or someone else to get you and your family some help. You can ask them to tell you if they will talk to anyone, and explain why.
- When my dad talks to my mum, I feel worried and scared for her.
- When I think about going home, I feel sick, afraid and lonely.
- When my parents fight, I feel afraid that my mum will get hurt.
- When my step-dad is angry, I feel afraid.
- When I think about my family, I feel worried all the time.
Step 6: Take your time
It’s hard to talk clearly about upsetting things. You can plan what you’re going to say by writing it down before and bring it with you. As you’re talking, you can stop at any time and take a few breaths to stay calm. You can say something like:
“This is hard for me to talk about, I need to take my time.”
- I want my parents to stop fighting.
- I just need someone I can talk to about this.
- I need advice on what I should do.
- I need somewhere safe to stay sometimes.
- I want my mum to move out with us and be safe.
What if they can't help me?
Some people might not know what to do. They might be shocked, or confused or not understand. Don’t worry about their reaction. If they can’t help you, or they don’t make you feel better, you can find someone else and try again until talking to someone about this helps you and makes you feel supported and less alone.