Alex's Answer

My parents became violent about my self-harm

Your Question

Hello Alex, yesterday I had self harmed and my parents found out. My mom started scolding me harshly and my dad asked me to show him my arm. I did then he gave me a hard slap to the face. Then for 30 minutes they were both shouting and lecturing me. My dad sarcastically said, “you should just end it”. He didn’t mean it but then I repeated it. I said “ yes, I should”. Then he started beating me to the point I fell of my chair. I am 13 years of age. It that okay for them to do this to me? 


Hi there, 

You are very welcome to Ask Alex. 

Thank you for trusting our service with your questions and with what is going on for you; you have been very brave in contacting us. We know it can be a difficult thing to do but we believe that it is important for young people to open up about their problems. Talking about and sharing what is going on for you is a big step towards getting the correct support around this issue. 

You are saying that you had self-harmed yesterday. What does it mean for you to self-harm? Self-harming can be very different from person to person. We know this because young people talk to us about their different experiences and reasons for certain behaviours – all of these discussions are confidential. Childline would be concerned for any child that engages in self-harming behaviour, as every child has the right to be and feel safe and to be free from harm.   

It can be incredibly helpful to talk to a trusted adult about the thoughts and feelings that may have brought on the self-harming incidents. Have you got someone in your life you trust that you can talk to about this? You may find this article on the Childline website useful, it explains what self-harm is, why it may occur and it also provides websites for organisations that offer the type of support that may be beneficial to you:

It sounds like your parents found out after you had self-harmed. You say that your Mum scolded you and your Dad slapped your across the face and started beating you, and that they both gave you a lecture about self-harming. Sometimes parents react with high emotion when they get frightened or worried about their children however, we would be extremely concerned that your parents hurt you in this way as your parents have a responsibility to look after you, to care for you and to listen to you. No one has the right to hurt you in any way and you have the right to be safe within your home. It sounds like home isn’t the safe place for you that it should be.  

If you ever feel unsafe at home, or anywhere else, you have the right to call the emergency services on 999 or 112. These calls are free and can be made from any mobile phone or landline. It is important for your mental health and well-being that you get the support you need and that you know that none of this is your fault. Have you considered talking to a grandparent or teacher about the way your parents responded to finding out you had self-harmed?  

Maybe it would be easier to talk to somebody you do not know first; the Childline Team are here for you. You can reach out to talk or chat to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and our services are free and confidential. You can talk to us by phone 1800 66 66 66 or chat to us one-to-one on our webchat on or by text on 50101. We will not judge anything you say to us or tell you what to do. We will look at what options may be available to you, with you. 

You have the right to get the help and support you deserve. Childline is here for you when you are ready to contact us, you are not alone.  

We hope to hear from you soon.

Take care, 



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