Pat's Answer

My dad makes me feel awkward when he does things

Your Question

my dad slaps my but, puts his hands on my waste, it makes me feel awkward and when I say stuff like stop he gets mad at me. he walks onto my room without knocking even though I could be getting dressed and he doesn’t even SHUT the door he stands there for a couple of seconds and says hes not looking is this sexual harassment

Hello, welcome to Ask Pat.   

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

You say your dad slaps your butt and puts his hands on your waist. It makes you feel awkward, and when you asked him to stop, he gets mad. You mention he also walks into your room without knocking first, you could be getting dressed and he will stand there for a while. You are wondering if this is sexual harassment. 

It is understandable that your dad is making you feel uncomfortable by his behaviour. It is clear that you feel awkward and are questioning if this behaviour is sexual harassment or not. Your dad nor anybody else, does not have the right to touch you in a way that makes you uncomfortable in any way or makes you question if the touch is ok. You say that when you tell him how his touching makes you feel, he gets mad at you. If you ever feel unsafe or in danger at any time in your home or anywhere else, you can contact the emergency services at 999 or 112. You have the right to be always safe.   

You are taking the right steps in reaching out and seeking help. This is such a brave thing to do. You have a right to get help and support. You have the right to be listened to and the right to be heard around what you are experiencing. Sometimes talking about what we are going through with a trusted adult can help us to make decisions. Is it possible to talk to your mum about your feelings around what is happening? Or would there be another trusted adult that you could talk to? We know that it can be hard to open up to someone who is close to us, so maybe talking to somebody outside of your family who you are comfortable talking to might work better for you at first.   

Here is some information and articles that you might also find helpful. Túsla is the Child and Family Agency in Ireland. In Túsla, there are social workers whose job it is to make sure that all people under the age of 18 are safe. You can find your local Túsla office here You may need the help of an adult if you choose to get in touch with Túsla. There are some articles on the Childline website which may also help you with your question,    

You do not have to go through this alone. Childline is here for you and we really would love to listen to you. At Childline we are focused on you and what is important to you. The services are free and available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The Childline Team do not judge anything you say but will listen to everything you wish to share. You can contact us through our telephone service 1800 66 66 66, through our text service on 50101, or by web chat that you access through the website     

We hope that you find some of the above helpful. Remember you have already made a great attempt in reaching out and describing what is going on for you. If you have any more questions, please do get in touch with us, whichever way you feel most comfortable, phone, text, or web chat.     

We hope to hear from you soon. Take care of yourself,     


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