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Want to tell teacher about home life but not sure if she'll have to report abuse

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  • Want to tell teacher about home life but not sure if she'll have to report abuse

    Lately I've been quite down in school, I don't really participate in class anymore and I don't hang out with my friends so much. A teacher I trust asked a few months ago was I ok and I'd like to talk to her about how my home life has been affecting school.

    My da has a bar/restaurant in a different country and he spends most of his time there. My parents are married but they don't really get along too well so that's why he's there a lot. We have to go there every single holiday to work. I work behind the bar all day, pulling beers and making cocktails and the like (I'm 15 rn but this has been happening for a while, got serious when I was like 14).

    My da is always very angry there, screaming and cursing at everyone. Sometimes he threatens to 'beat the living ******** outta me' if I don't work fast enough and he's a bit rough the way he handles me (doesn't hit me though). He's never beat me, only slapped me around a few times when I was small. I don't think he would beat me unless I really provoked him.

    My ma gets drunk a lot more when she's there as well, at least 2-4 times a week. My parents always end up fighting. Now she's starting to get drunk more at home as well. Not that often but when it happens its scary, I had to call the paramedics once.

    This has been starting to affect school recently and I'd like to talk to this teacher about it but I'm scared that it would be considered abuse and she'd be mandated to report it. I feel like once I start opening up I'll let everything out and won't be able to hold back. Is it considered abuse? How could I approach her about it? Also how could I tell her not to tell my parents without it sounding suspicious? Thanks

  • #2
    Hello! Thank you for reaching out to NRS,

    We're sorry to hear about your struggles at home and how it is affecting school. We hear you, you should not be treated that way at home by your family and you deserve to be somewhere that makes you feel wanted and safe.

    If you feel like at any point you are in imminent danger, you should call 911 to report your situation. That said, it sounds like you're going through a lot right now and we're glad you reached out to us because we're here to support you. It seems that you're unhappy with the way you're being treated at home but you don't want to get your parents in trouble and are holding it in. Bottling in emotions like that can be very overwhelming so it's understandable that you're afraid of not being able to hold back once you've started venting.

    You are right that a school teacher is a mandated reporter for abuse and it's going to be a tough decision on whether to open up to them or not because it does sound like you are in a potentially abusive environment. Regarding your second question, one way to approach your teacher is to ask if you can speak to her privately about something that's going on at home -- see if you guys have some time during lunch or a break to talk one-on-one. If you're concerned that others may hear you, another option is to send the teacher an email earlier in the week explaining that you want to talk to them in private. Finally, we cannot guarantee that teachers will not communicate with youth's parents; what we do know, once again, is that if your teacher deems it abuse, she will have to report it.

    If you want to share more details with us at the NRS, learn more about the report process, or just vent to us, we welcome you to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us at We're also mandated reporters but as long as you choose not to provide identifying information, we are 100% anonymous. Once you're on the line, we discuss options, resources, and even file a report if you end up wanting to. Another place to read up more regarding the reporting process is at We wish you all the best.

    Be safe,
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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