DEAR DEIDRE: I ALWAYS knew my stepdad is mean to my mum.
He never shows any affection to her but now she’s told me he has control of her money as well.
He’s 42 and he has a good job and he earns a great wage. She’s 37 and works every hour that God sends in the supermarket and doesn’t get home until 10pm most evenings.
He takes all the money she earns and just gives her back what she needs to buy food for us all.
I’m a girl just turned 15. I hate to see Mum so unhappy like this. He’s controlling and nasty to her and to me, but I don’t think she’ll leave him.
DEIDRE SAYS: I’m sorry. That all sounds very hard but you’re only 15 and you shouldn’t feel responsible for solving everything.
You could tell your mum this sounds like financial abuse and that I have a leaflet I could send her with sources of help.
First find support for yourself and a safe place to talk this through.
Contact The Mix, who help under 25s (themix.org.uk, 0808 808 4994).
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