Pat's Answer

Is it normal for my father to do this kind of stuff?

Your Question

Hello. I’m not sure if this is sexual abuse or just normal father things but , my dad touches me on my thigh , in the front seat for an example , and he also sometimes slaps my butt . he once tried to make me sit on his lap aswell . he called me sexy which made me uncomfortable. im scared of him and when i go in his house , i want to leave . everything he does makes me uncomfortable . i caught him looking at my butt and thigh a few times too. is this ok? my mom nor some friends dont believe this and says its just because he’s a man

Answer

Hi there, welcome to Ask Alex. Thank you for trusting us to answer your question. 

We understand that it can be difficult to reach out and talk about things that might make you uncomfortable, but you have been brave in reaching out for support, so well done for that. You say that your Dad’s actions have made you feel uncomfortable as he has touched you inappropriately, made comments about your body and generally makes you feel unsafe in his presence. We would be very concerned to hear that this is going on for you as no one has the right to make you feel this way. It’s not okay for your Dad or anyone else to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or makes you question whether it is sexual abuse. There is an article on the Childline website that might help you to understand whether what you have experienced is abuse: https://www.childline.ie/what-is-abuse. Regardless of gender, no one has the right to touch you inappropriately or do and say things that make you feel uncomfortable or violated, so your Dad’s actions cannot be justified despite people saying “it’s just because he’s a man”.  

It sounds like you have confided in your Mam and friends but that you feel unsupported and that they don’t believe you. This is concerning as your Mam would be obligated to keep you safe from harm. You have the right to be heard and listened to, and to express how you are feeling. Is there anyone else in your life you could talk to like an aunt/uncle, grandparent, teacher or coach – to tell them what’s been happening? You have a right to feel safe in your home and to get proper assistance and support, and a trusted adult may be able to help you get what you need at this time. If you feel that the people in your life aren’t taking this allegation seriously then you have the right to contact Tusla Child and Family agency who have a duty of care to protect all young people. You can find out more about contacting Tusla as well as the services they offer on their website: www.tusla.ie. Also, if you ever feel that you are in immediate danger, you can contact the emergency services on 999 or 112 – these calls are free of charge from any landline or mobile phone. 

You have the right to feel happy and safe, to express your emotions and to be believed. Childline is there for you anytime you need to talk and can provide you with a safe space to speak about your thoughts and feelings. We don’t judge or tell you what to do and we believe what young people tell us. You can call us anytime on 1800 66 66 66, text on 50101 or webchat on www.childline.ie. All our services operate 24 hours a day and are free and confidential. It’s really important to consider getting support when you’ve been through a difficult, upsetting or traumatic time. Also, there are other services that may be helpful and can be accessed through the following links: www.jigsaw.ie; www.yourmentalhealth.ie; and as we mentioned above, there are a lot of helpful articles and resources on the Childline website. 

Thanks for getting in touch, you’ve shown great courage in doing so. We hope this helps you to find the support you rightfully deserve. 

Take care, 

Alex. 

 

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