Pat's Answer

My dad always hits me and kicks me if I use a tone of voice that he doesn’t like

Your Question

My dad always hits me and kicks me if I use a tone of voice that he doesn’t like. Yesterday he told me that if I go to my grandparents house he won’t pay for my school fees. I really want my mum to divorce him but she’s reluctant to do so because he might not agree to it. Every time I’m home alone with him I always feel scared like he might hit me or punch me if I say something he doesn’t like. What should I do? 


Hello, and welcome to Ask Pat.    

It’s very brave of you to contact us as we know it’s not always easy for young people to talk about their difficulties and feelings. The use of physical violence is not okay and we are very concerned for your wellbeing. It is important that we feel safe in our all our environments, from our home and school to our community life. If you are ever in immediate danger or harm, you can contact emergency services on 999 or 112 from any mobile or landline, free of charge.   

It is important that you communicate to a trusted adult in your life about the feelings of anxiety and lack of safety that you are experiencing at home. This trusted adult can be a parent, grandparent, neighbour or a teacher. It is the role of parents and caregivers to protect young people and children.  

Have you ever spoken to a social worker? If you would like to, you can contact Túsla – the Child and Family Agency. Their job is to make sure all children and young people in Ireland are safe and looked after. You can find more information about how Túsla can help you on the Changing Futures website. This was created for young people by young people with experience of Túsla services: You will see how to get in touch with Túsla here:   

If you do not feel comfortable having this conversation with the adults in your life right now, you can contact Childline to discuss this anonymously with a trained volunteer. If you log onto the Childline website there are 3 ways in which you can talk to us: live message, free text 5010 or free phone 1800 66 66 66. There are some articles on the Childline website which may also help you with the problems you are facing at the moment: ; ;    

We hope that you have found this information useful. Remember, you do not have to face this situation alone. 

Take care,  


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