When does punishment become abuse?

Female, 13 years old, PA

Question/Issue:

When does punishment become abuse? Recently my dad has been angry at my brother (a junior) for difficulties with his senior project. Corporal punishment has come into play, & sometimes my brother cries. My mother is present, but she doesn’t intervene usually. Has it gone too far? Should I call for help?

Teen Line Wrote:

Thank you so much for contacting Teen Line, I’m so glad you reached out to us! It really seems like your brother is facing a lot right now, and I want you to know that you did the right thing by contacting Teen Line. Your dad has no right to hurt your brother in any possible way. Parents are supposed to love you, and help you through hard times, what he’s doing is absolutely not acceptable. If a parent is hurting a kid, then it is considered abuse. This sounds serious enough, that i recommend calling us at 800-852-8336 or text “TEEN” to 839863 for a text conversation 6pm-9pm PST.

I wonder if your brother has talked to anyone else about this such as a friend, school counselor, or anyone he trusts. Maybe that can also help him get more information, and new ways to deal with the situation, and further steps to be taken.

childhelp.org is an organization that lets you anonymously report child abuse if you feel it is necessary. Their number is 800-422-4453 available 24/7, and you can find more info on their site. Helpguide.org is a fantastic site that provides a ton of articles relating to your situation as well.

Thank you for contacting Teen Line!

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