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Remember it is never your fault! Grown ups use domestic abuse to control other grownups, and is a repeated behaviour. Remember you are not alone and domestic abuse happens in lots of homes, and there are lots of nice people to help you and your family.

How do I know it is happening?

It is normal to feel scared, angry, guilty and upset when this is happening. Remember it is not your fault and you have done nothing to make this happen. It will be confusing because they might not always be abusive, but remember you can go to teachers, friends, police or a trusted adult. No one has the right to hurt you and it is your right to have a happy abuse free life.

What can I do if it is happening?

If it is happening to you, it is very important for you to get help. You can go and talk to a person you can trust your teacher, family member, neighbour or friend. The person who is abusing you may tell you not to tell anyone, but don’t keep it a secret there are lots of nice people whose job is to help you. It is OK to tell people what is happening, no one has the right to hurt you.

Is it my fault?

No – it’s not your fault. Domestic abuse is never the child’s fault even though the abuser may say it is. It is normal to feel guilty, ashamed, upset and scared, but remember it is not your fault. You have done nothing wrong and you are not responsible for another person’s action.

What is the difference between domestic abuse and child abuse?

When grown ups hurt or bully each other this is called domestic abuse. If a child or young person under 16 is also hurt this is child abuse.

What Can I Do?

If someone you care about is being abused you may feel like you want to stop it, but remember if you get involved you may be hurt. The first thing you should do is to make sure you are safe, you can hide somewhere you feel safe. The second thing you should do is to talk to someone you trust, this can be a neighbour, teacher, friend or family members. There are numbers you can ring if you feel scared:

Police: 999

Child line: 0800 11 11

Calls to Childline are free and will not show up on itemised land line or mobile phone bills, so no one will know you have called if you do not want them to know. You do not need to have credit on your phone to make the call. Make sure that your mobile has enough power, as you may want to talk for a while. If you do not feel safe calling from a landline or mobile, then a public payphone may be a good idea. You do not need money to make the call to Childline. Childline will only step in and help, if you ask them to.

Calls to 999 should only be used in an emergency. That means that you think that something bad is happening and you need help from the Police, Ambulance or Fire Service. They will ask you what service you want, if you do not know, then say Police. They will then be able to get other services over to help just as quick if needed. Remember to give your name, and your address and clearly state what is happening. It can be a frightening time to call 999, but try to be calm, the emergency services will be there to help you. Listen to what they tell you, and act upon their advice.