Real life stories from the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD


One day, a 10-year-old boy called the Hotline. He was given a bookmark at his school that tells children about Childhelp’s National Child Abuse Hotline and when they should call for help. The child was calling from a pay phone in front of a convenience store, and he was crying. He nervously asked if the call was being taped and whether his mother and stepfather would find out about it. The counselor assured him that the call was anonymous.

The boy went on to say he was very unhappy since his parents divorced and his mother remarried. His father was in the Air Force and stationed in England. He had not seen him in two years.

After much assurance that the counselor was there to listen and to help, the boy told his story. It seemed that he looked a lot like his dad and whenever his stepmother was angry with him, she would hit him with a belt on his arms and legs and told him she hated him because he was just like his father. It seemed that mom was always angry with him, often for no reason. He was beaten for smiling, not answering quickly enough, or not putting his toothbrush back in the cabinet just so. He never knew when she was going to hit him.

When asked if there was a teacher or counselor at school to talk to, he said, “oh no. My mother said she would take me out of town in the car and leave me in the middle of nowhere if I told.” He had just been beaten by his mother before calling the Hotline. She pulled out some of his hair and burned the top of one hand with the iron. When asked what had caused her to do this, it was because she found a dirty sock on the floor of his closet. The child stated that he didn’t want to live and ran out of the house, planning to jump in front of a “big truck.” He wanted to die and be in heaven with his grandmother.

With the child on the line, the Hotline counselor called the police and Child Protective Services. She stayed on the line to help him file the report and make sure he was on his way to a safe place.

The child’s last words to the counselor were, “I knew my Grandma was right; there are angels and today you were mine.”

It’s calls like this that make us proud of what we do on the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline.

-Certified Counselor from the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline

Just $5 pays for the cost of one child like this to call the Hotline. Donate today—your $5 could save a life.

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