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Can they do this to me?

Being bullied at school
Is this discrimination?
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Clash or match?

What if they are older than me?
Long distance loving
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Getting it together - friends, girlfriends, boyfriends

Getting serious - or not
Personal space
How can I make my relationship work?
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Getting through the hard stuff

Surviving sexual assault - (young men)
Surviving sexual assault - (young women)
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Happy families

Where can I go for help with getting along with my family?
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Love or creepy?

Scary dates
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Male and female

Challenge the old ways
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Playing safe online

Grossing me out
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What can I do about an abusive relationship?

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When is it not okay?

Am I being abusive?
What about child abuse?
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Who can help?

If you are in danger call 000 or
tell someone you can trust

If you would just like to talk to
someone, help is at your fingertips ...

All the services below are available and free* for young people to use.
All the 1800 numbers operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The person you speak to will be an experienced counsellor, not the police, not a government department.
You will not have to give your name.

* Please note that all mobile phone calls made from within Australia to Kids Helpline—using Optus (including Virgin), Vodafone, and Telstra—and 1800 Respect—using Telstra—are now free.

Relationship Advice

Are you having problems with a friend, partner or family member or would you just like to talk to someone about where to "draw the line"?

Call 1800 MYLINE (1800 695 463)
or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

Online Safety and Cyberbullying

Are you being bullied online or has something happened online that makes you feel uncomfortable, scared or sad?

Call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800
or go to the Kids Helpline online
counselling service

Relationship Violence

Are you or have you been:

  • scared of someone hurting you?
  • sexually assaulted?
  • concerned about violence in a relationship with a friend, partner or family member?

Call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or
talk to a counsellor online.

Crisis Support, Suicide and Mental Health

If you would like to talk to someone about anxiety, depression, loneliness, suicidal thoughts or attempts:

Call Lifeline on 13 11 14

To find out how to report cyberbullying, offensive content, scams or online abuse, or just find out more about cybersafety, check out the Cybersmart website.

You can also download the Cybersafety Help Button to your computer for help and advice on a range of online risks including cyberbullying, unwanted contact, scams and fraud, and offensive or inappropriate material.

Legal rights and responsibilities

If you want some legal information you can go to the Lawstuff website and search in your state or territory. If you can't find what you want, you can send a legal question to Lawmail. Lawyers will reply to your message as quickly as possible, usually within 6 days.

Assisted Call Services

For the Translating and Interpreting Service please call 13 14 50. If you are deaf or have a hearing impairment, you can call the National Relay Service on 13 36 77.

Your Questions

Read responses from our expert psychologist, to some of the most commonly faced issues

The questions and answers below on this page help provide advice to others who may be in a similar situation. Please note the advice provided on this page is of a general nature and not specific to any individual or personal circumstance.

Please do not send questions raising urgent issues. If you need help, see our contact details for free counselling services.

The circumstances described in some of the questions below may raise legal issues. We suggest that contact be made with the Police or with a lawyer to find out what assistance or options may be available in these circumstances.

Previous Questions

After a drunken incident last night my best friend wants nothing more to do with me. We are 16 and last night we went out and had way too much to drink. One of the boys in our group was so drunk he passed out and we had to call an ambulance. Others who were even more drunk than us and started trying to kick the front door of the boy who called 000. I was frightened and I rang my best friend's mum and she came to get us. We all went home in her car along with another friend and her boyfriend. I wasn't planning on telling my parents but then we heard that the boy whose front door got kicked in had rung the police. He had to give all our names, so I told my parents before the police did. When I rang my best friend this morning she went mental because I told my parents that she was drinking as well. She says they will never act the same around her and also that I should not have called her mum out. She got into trouble and blames me. Everything I did was just to keep her safe as well as me, but she won’t listen. She says she feels like punching me. Everyone in the group apparently hates me and I have no idea how they will treat me in school. I don’t want to be by myself. My dad says to hang around with someone else but it's not that easy because they were my only friends. No-one else in my year likes me. What can I do?

Your friends don't yet seem to understand how lucky you've all been. The situation you describe could easily have gone from bad to a lot worse – especially with so much alcohol around to cloud people's judgment and fuel over the top behaviour. How many of them would have had the clarity to accurately gauge the level of risk you were all in that night? To see the potential for damage to property, violence, more people becoming sick and some even hurt? To imagine how much more trouble all of you could have gotten into if you had just stuck around as things deteriorated, and outraged parents and police were later confronted with even greater chaos? Thank goodness you and whoever it was that called the ambulance were there and had the presence of mind to 'get' that things could quickly turn ugly. The sad thing about all this is that – far from being grateful for your quick thinking in helping them get out of a sticky situation – your friends don't even see why you did it, let alone appreciate it. When you weigh up your actions from a protective or harm reduction perspective, it appears that you've made very good decisions under very challenging circumstances. Anyone who cares about the wellbeing of you and your friends would agree, including the parents of all those you helped get home. However, some friends may not yet be able to see that bigger, more important picture. They seem to be more hung up about short-term hassles with parents, and may be letting themselves imagine that you've panicked and over-reacted, while they would've stayed cool and just gone with the flow of things. If that is their view it seems a shallow, short-sighted and unrealistic view of what really went on.

The more alcohol people consume, the less able they are to correctly interpret what's going on around them, and they are more willing to engage in greater the risks and more extreme the behaviours. It could be that, even though your friends are sober now, they were too drunk to ever get the true extent of what was going down last night. They might have underestimated the negatives and overestimated their abilities to handle them, and so may not really understand why you did what you did. Beyond this, your best friends' reactions the following day still seem a little irrational: after all it was not you who told the police the names of everyone that was there that night. If the police already know both of you were at the incident and everyone was drinking, does your friend really think your parents wouldn't have found this out too sooner or later? What if you hadn't called anyone to get you guys out of there when you did, and the police arrived to find you all there? Would your friend have preferred that?! Do any of your friends believe that any of their parents would be too surprised to know that any of their 16-year-olds get access to alcohol and get drunk from time to time? Meanwhile, if the police do contact all of you, is it OK that your friends mum has the 'inside' information needed to properly support her daughter, but that your parents are kept in the dark – and so unable to support you – if things get more intense? Is there nobody in your group who would see the sense in what you did last night, or even recognise you acted out of the best intentions? If not, their reactions appear unreasonable and too much like over reactions. They do not appear to be based on a clear view of things at present. Your best friend in particular may be responding from a combination of panic, frustration, and some of the mood hangover of the 'day after'. As frustrating and upsetting as it sounds, you may need to give her time and space to settle down. While she may not agree that you made the right decision, she should hopefully come to realise that you made it for the right reasons.

It is very difficult when we act out of the best intentions and on the basis of our best judgement, but people we care about don't seem to understand our actions, and even hold them against us. Tough decisions can often be the right ones, but can just as often be very unpopular ones. It takes courage, insight and maturity to hear the voices of conscience and intuition in chaotic situations - let alone listen to them. You went further and acted upon them. There is little doubt that your best friend and others will one day understand and accept the steps you took last night – even if they don't necessarily agree that they would have done the same thing. In fact, contrary to your best friends reports, there may even be some who were there that night (or others who have been in similar situations and are reading this now) who would be totally with you on this. Let's hope the rest are mature enough to see things from your point of view sometime soon. If not, the unkind and unfair among them could make things difficult for you for a while. As tough as that can be, it's one way to work out who your real friends are, aren't, or should be. If you feel isolated, seek support and some reality checks from family and other people who you trust and who appreciate you. This can include friends, cousins etc. your own age from outside school, as well as adults. Kidshelpline counsellors can also help you talk things through (1800 55 1800). Whatever happens, don't let this discourage you from doing what you think is right in future. In fact, to not act according to what you think is right can make you feel pathetic and generate even worse consequences for you and others.

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