Sunday, August 15, 2010

ChildLine talks to over 100 kids a week about parents' drinking or drug-taking


More than 100 youngsters a week call ChildLine to talk about their parents' drinking or drug-taking. Terrified kids as young as five are pouring out their hearts on the NSPCC's free 24-hour helpline, the charity revealed yesterday.

Many tell of horrendous cruelty, abuse and neglect - but above all they are desperate to keep their families together.

One tormented 10-year-old revealed: "I feel scared and lonely. I look after mum when she drinks and put her to bed. She shouts and hits me.

"I don't want to feel pain. I want to die."

The NSPCC said children of mothers and fathers who drink or take drugs often end up caring for their siblings - and even the parents.

They are also three times more likely to suffer beatings or sexual abuse.

Sue Minto, head of Child-Line said: "This is a ticking timebomb in many children's lives. We need to find ways to help them sooner."

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