Christmas is a magical time, when children dream about all the things they want. Yet, for thousands of abused and neglected children, all they want is not to feel frightened or lonely anymore, to feel safe.
Our ChildLine service is there to help. ChildLine counsellors offer advice and support 365 days a year. Our trained ChildLine counsellors talk to children on the phone and online, helping them with any problem they are facing.
Every 25 seconds a child contacts ChildLine and your support will help to ensure the service is here to listen and help when a child find the courage to call.
By donating you'll help ensure our ChildLine service is here to listen and help when a child finds the courage to call.
No child should suffer alone – and with your support this Christmas we can give them someone to turn to.
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Katie: looking forward to her first proper Christmas
Katie* lived with her younger brother Harry, her mum and her mum's boyfriend - who were both alcoholics. Katie and Harry had never known the love and care that all children should.
From a very young age, Katie had been forced to look after herself, most often because her mum was too drunk to take care of her. And when Harry came along she was often left alone all day to take care of him too – which she bravely did her best to do.
Last year, as Christmas Day approached, the drinking got worse – and Katie increasingly suffered awful physical abuse at the hands of her mum's boyfriend. Katie remembered seeing a ChildLine poster at school and she knew that there was someone she could turn to.
When ten-year-old Katie contacted ChildLine, she was so terrified she could barely speak. It was after 11pm, when her mum's boyfriend came home and the drunken shouting and fighting started again, and Katie bravely contacted ChildLine. She had tried to call us a few times already that night, but each time she'd hung up because she was too afraid.
Calling ChildLine was the turning point in Katie's life
Our counsellor listened to Katie and told her she could take as long as she wanted to talk. Katie slowly found the courage to tell the counsellor how the arguing had got worse, and that she was scared for her little brother and wanted to keep him safe. Contacting ChildLine on Christmas Day was really hard for Katie. But her call drew attention to what was happening at home for the first time – and it meant we could take action to protect Katie and her brother.
That call was a turning point in Katie's life. A year on, life has really changed for Katie and Harry. Their mum's boyfriend is in prison and they now live with their grandparents. Katie is looking forward to their first proper Christmas and she has even made a felt teddy bear at school to place under the tree for her beloved little brother on Christmas Day.
Katie is feeling safe and happy now, but hundreds of other children still want nothing more than to just feel safe again. No child should suffer alone, and ChildLine is here to listen and help whenever they find the courage to call.
*This case draws on real examples from contacts with ChildLine, but does not describe a specific case.
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