Children's stories

Real life stories of children who've experienced abuse and other difficulties – and how we've helped them.

Real life stories

These stories are the voices of children, parents, professionals and adults reflecting on their childhoods. They remind us of why it's important that we play our part in the fight for every childhood.

These stories don't just tell of abuse or neglect, but also of the difficulties children face in the justice and child protection systems, and how they're affected when their families struggle to bond with them as a baby or with alcohol or drug addictions.

But even though these children and families have experienced incredibly difficult times, their stories offer hope and inspiration that someone does care, and with the right support their lives can be turned around.

Whether they speak about how we've helped them through our helpline or our specially developed local services, the stories of these children show that abuse does change childhood – but so can we.

The children

Children's stories

"It’s so important for young people to get the right help early on... If I’d not had to wait so long then I might not have turned to drugs and things might have been different."

Read Tia's story

children's stories

"If I had got help earlier it would have helped me to come to terms with the assault earlier and I could have started to get on with my life. It would have stopped the anger bubbling away inside me."

Read Jamie's story

Children's stories

"I was worried about the domestic violence my children had seen and how it might affect them. The NSPCC’s work with my children gave them the light back behind their eyes."

Read Margaret's story

Children's stories

"I'd kept this to myself for so long before I told anyone. My memory went blank as soon as I walked into the room."

Read Alice's story

Children's stories

"At the first session I got to meet other young people... I started to feel a bit more normal and realised for the first time that I wasn’t alone."

Read JB's story

Children's stories

"I knew it was wrong from the first punch when I was 16. But I was very young and scared, and worried about coping on my own."

Read Alison's story

Children's stories

"I didn't feel as though I was in control of my life… I was constantly being told by adults that I had to do things I didn't want to do."

Read Annie's story

Children's stories

"Although Caroline was very protective of Alice, she wasn't responding emotionally to Alice's needs."

Read Caroline and Peter's story

Children's stories

"We're able to speak about things we never did before, and getting everything out in the open was the most amazing weight off my shoulders."

Read Christine's story

Children's stories

"Backing me into the corner until I was whimpering and crying, he would just laugh at me and walk away, satisfied by my distress."

Read Fiona's story

Children's stories

"He was my father and I thought that whatever he was doing to me was normal."

Read Gareth's story

Children's stories

"I'd noticed my oldest child, who is 17, starting to behave the way I was – he thought it was acceptable."

Read Gary's story

Children's stories

"I never thought I'd feel this happy again but with the right support you can carry on with your life."

Read Gemma's story

Children's stories

"I felt ignored by my social workers and like I didn't have any power or say in what was happening in my life."

Read Geoff's story

Children's stories

"I'm just glad CTAC have been there to defend me through this experience."

Read Gracie's story

Children's stories

"I asked her if anyone had touched her anywhere private other than me or her father."

Read Helen and Maisie's story

Children's stories

"It was great to have people who wanted to support me rather than fight me."

Read Kate's story

Children's stories

"I think there needs to be more support given to young people returning home after they've been in care."

Read Kerry's story

Children's stories

"When I lived with my dad I felt like nothing. I felt like he didn’t care about me, all he cared about was the drugs."

Read Kimberley's story

Children's stories

"They told me I wasn't allowed to contact my mum or speak to anyone else."

Read Lam's story

Children's stories

"George stormed into my room, grabbed Sofia's cot and smashed it to bits in the car park."

Read Leila's story

Children's stories

"He'd arranged to meet the girls out of school on the Monday and take them off with him."

Read Leslie's story

Children's stories

"I see the change in myself – and so do my friends and my foster mum."

Read Lucy's story

Children's stories

"I was concerned that the NSPCC would judge me and potentially take my daughter off me for being a bad parent."

Read Mel's story

Children's stories

"He didn't judge me, he listened to me and allowed me to go at my own pace."

Read Millie's story

Children's stories

"My sister's relationship with my mum was better than mine. She would get yelled at and hit, but it was me who bore the brunt of mum's anger."

Read Pete's story

Children's stories

"I think they underestimated what they would get from her but she is a very smart, switched-on little girl."

Read Rachel's story

""I started to call Childline when I was 8. Because of everything that was happening, I was very angry and had a temper so I talked to them about that and the violence at home""

Read Michaela's story

""I was an 11-year-old girl wandering around by myself at night and I was scared. Luckily I saw the number for Childline and I spoke to a counsellor who listened to me.""

Read Leanne's story

"I had nowhere to go and I didn't know what to do. I came to a phone box and decided to call Childline. It was great to be able to talk and feel listened to."

Read Louise's story

Children's stories

"I'd pulled my bedroom door off its hinges a couple of times. I didn't know how to deal with my anger."

Read Robbie's story

Children's stories

"I even felt lonely when mum and dad were in the house because mentally they were completely out of it."

Read Sophie's story

Children's stories

"People knew I was struggling but they didn't know the extent."

Read Sophie, Damion and Florence's story

How we're helping children and young people

Services for children, families and professionals

We work face to face with children, young people and families who need our help across the UK.
View our services


Childline’s here for children and young people, whatever their worry, whenever they need help.

What is Childline?

It's time to demand change

The government doesn't know how many children have been abused and need support. Help us change this.

Join our campaign

What you can do to help better protect children

Report abuse

Our helpline is here 24/7. So if you’re worried about a child, you can always talk to us.
Report abuse to our helpline

Do your own fundraising

There are lots of easy ways you can raise money to keep children safe from abuse and we're here to help you every step of the way.
Do your own fundraising

Your donation can take a child anywhere

We’re here to stop all types of child abuse from happening. Because when a child is free from abuse, they’re free to dream again. But we need your help. 

Donate today

Volunteer or work for us

Join the fight for every childhood. Learn more about our volunteering and career opportunities. 
Volunteer or work for us

Support our campaigns

Help us create awareness and lobby for changes in legislation

Read more

Give in celebration

Give your wedding and party guests something to remember and support us with our selection of charity gifts and favours.
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Take part in an event

From marathons to gala dinners, there's an event you can do to raise money and help give children the childhood they deserve.
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Names and identifying features have been changed to protect identity. Photographs have been posed by models.