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

"The sound of the key turning in the lock after he had been at the pub filled us all with dread."

Read Charley'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

Lee’s story

"I knew what he was doing was wrong. I wanted it to stop but part of me was afraid to speak out."

Read Lee’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

"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

"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

"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

John's story

"Dad would spend as much as £40 a day on heroin, but only £20 a fortnight on food."

Read John'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

"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

"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

"Children have an incredible capacity to heal, to be creative, to think of new ideas."

Read Rebuilding lives after abuse

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 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

"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

"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

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

Read Kate's story

Children's stories

"The men were a lot older than me but they didn't blink an eye when I said I was 13."

Read Leila'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

"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 Erica'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

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

Read Sophie, Damion and Florence's story

Children's stories

"Baby Steps helped me to reduce my anxiety because I felt that if something went wrong, I could call Jenny and Sara to ask them about it."

Read Joanna'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

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

Read Michaela'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

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

"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 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 feel listened to."

Read Louise's story

Children's stories

""I was an 11-year-old girl wandering around by myself at night and I was scared. Luckily I saw the number for Childline.""

Read Leanne's story

Children's stories

"When I found out that an adult had asked Charlotte for naked photographs, I was out of my mind with worry. I hadn't felt able to give her advice about keeping safe online"

Read Charlotte's story

How we're helping children and young people


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

Find out more

Are You There?

We're calling on the government to help our Childline service be there for every child dealing with meantal health issues. 

Learn more

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.
Fundraise for us

Make a donation

A child will contact Childline every 25 seconds. Donate now and help us be there for every child.

Donate now

Volunteering for NSPCC and Childline

Join the fight for every childhood through one of our volunteering opportunities.
Volunteering for NSPCC and Childline

Support our campaigns

Help us create awareness and lobby for changes in legislation

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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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Names and identifying features have been changed to protect identity. Photographs have been posed by models.