Alex's Answer

Could I report my dad for hitting me once a long time ago?

Your Question

Even if I was only hit once by my dad, it happened a long time ago. Is it still abuse and could I still report it? 


Hi and welcome to Ask Alex.  

Thank you so much for contacting us today. We appreciate you trusting us with such a big and personal question. 

You have asked if it is abuse if your dad hit you once and if can you report it even if it happened a long time ago.  

Physical abuse involves a person using physical force against another person which causes or could cause them harm. It can be a single incident or something that is ongoing. Some examples of physical abuse could be slapping, hitting, pinching and kicking. Deliberately hurting someone in any way using physical force is physical abuse and is not okay. Children should not be punished physically, no matter their behaviour, and under the Children First Act 2015, someone that disciplines their child using physical punishment cannot use this as a defence. If a child did something wrong, physical force is not an appropriate punishment. A child relies on their parents for support and protection, and any form of physical abuse takes this away and can negatively influence a child’s health and development. You can read more about abuse here:  

In Ireland, every child and young person has the right to be protected from all forms of abuse. If you experience any kind of abuse, reach out to someone that can help you. This could be an adult you trust like a family member, a teacher or a sports coach. If ever you are in immediate danger, you can contact the emergency services on  112  or  999  for free on any mobile phone or landline.  

You can always call Childline on 1800 66 66 66, contact us by text on 50101 or through our webchat at The Childline team is there to listen 24 hours a day, every day. Our services are free, confidential and non-judgemental. We will support you and explore the different options available to you, with you.      

We hope that you have found some of the information useful, thank you for sharing your question and keep safe.  


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