Pat's Answer

Is this abuse?

Your Question

My dad sometimes slaps my thigh, my bum, and tickles me. I’ve told him to stop, but he never listens to me. Is this abuse? I’m very uncomfortable. 


Hi there, welcome to Ask Pat. 

Thank you so much for trusting us with what is going on for you. We know it can be difficult to reach out but we also know how great it is for young people to share their problems. Talking about what is going on for you is really brave and a big step forward. 

You mentioned that sometimes your dad slaps your thigh, bum and tickles you. You have told him to stop but it feels like he doesn’t listen to you, and you are unsure if it is abuse. 

It is understandable that your dad is making you feel uncomfortable by touching you in this way, especially when you have asked him to stop, and he doesn’t listen. No one has the right to touch or slap you in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or makes you wonder if it is abuse. You have the right to express how you are feeling, be heard and listened to. Is it possible to talk to your mum, or another adult you trust such as an aunt/uncle, grandparent or school counsellor about what’s been going on for you? You also have the right to feel safe in your home. If you ever feel that you are in immediate danger, you can contact the emergency services at 999 or 112 – these calls are free of charge from any landline or mobile phone. 

There are some articles on the Childline website which may also help you with your question: ; ;  

Remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. Childline is here for you through phone, text or online chat, and we would really love to listen to what is going on for you.  You can contact us 24hrs, 7 days a week.  All the services are confidential and non-judgemental. Our contact details are phone: 1800 66 66 66, text: 50101, or web chat that you access through this website: .    

You have been really brave to reach out to us and explain what is going on for you.  We understand that this probably was not an easy thing for you to do.  We hope you have found this information helpful and if you have any more questions, please get in touch. 

Take care, 


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