All about abuse
What is abuse / Types of abuse
Abuse is when someone mistreats you. Abuse can come in many forms; it can be physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal or a combination of any of these types of behaviours. Neglect is also abuse; a child who is being neglected isn’t having their basic needs met by their parents or guardians.
Types of abuse
Physical abuse can happen to anyone regardless of their size, gender or physical strength. Physical abuse can be anything that causes you injury, leaves marks or causes you pain, such as hitting, shaking, pinching, biting, choking, throwing or beating. Aggression is an immature reaction to feeling helpless and physical abuse is used by an abuser to maintain a sense of control over you.
Physical abuse is often obvious to others due to the bruising or injuries; however, sometimes those who have been physically abused go to great lengths to hide their injuries with clothing or by not going outside or avoiding friends or family. Also, if the abuse is to the abdomen or head, the abuse is often less obvious because injuries are often internal, but abuse to these areas can be particularly damaging and even fatal and you should seek medical attention immediately if this has happened to you.
Sexual abuse may start with someone saying to you “If you loved me, you would....” This statement is controlling and indicates that your partner is trying to manipulate and control you to get what they want sexually. Sexual abuse is being forced to do anything sexual, including unwanted touching, kissing, or sex, when you don’t want to do it. Even if you are married, or in a relationship with someone, no one has the right to force you to do a sexual act. Sexual abuse can happen to men, women or children.
Emotional, verbal or psychological abuse
Teasing, bullying, threats or putdowns are all harmful forms of emotional, verbal or psychological abuse that can really hurt, both when they are said, but also in the longer term by decreasing your self-esteem and self-confidence. Sometimes the emotional abuse can be very subtle and may only start as a small comment here or there. However, gradually the comments become more frequent and more controlling and you begin to feel less and less positive about yourself. Someone who is good at verbal abuse can appear to care deeply for you, but at the same time damage your self-esteem and self-worth. Regardless of how loving the abuser may seem to be, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse. However, because there are no physical wounds or injuries, emotional abuse can be more difficult to identify.
It can be helpful to read other people’s stories of their struggle with abuse and how they have overcome it:
How to help someone who is or you suspect may be abused
Someone who is or has suffered from abuse needs to have you listen to them and believe what they say. They may be afraid to tell you or anyone for fear it will put pressure on them to end the relationship they are in. Those who have been abused often feel like it is their fault, that they had asked for it, that they deserve it or they don’t deserve a better life. This is not the case. No one ever deserves to be abused for any reason.
It is important to offer someone who has been abused your patience, support, concern and understanding. However, it is also important to encourage them to get immediate help. Someone who is or has experience abuse has a serious problem that they cannot resolve on their own and they need to seek professional help.
If you are currently experiencing abuse or know someone who is, you should know that help is available. Did you realise research has shown that the relationship between you and your counsellor is one of the most important elements for a successful outcome? How do you know if the counsellor you find will be the best fit for you?
Select Counsellors provides a unique client counsellor matching service to ensure you see the right counsellor for you, first time. We have a pool of highly trained Sydney based counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists and will match you with the right therapist based on important information collected in a personalised assessment about you and your needs. At Select Counsellors our key priority is Finding you the One. To book an assessment click here or call on 1300 123 680 to speak in person with a Select Counsellor.
Click on the links below to find out more information on abuse:
The Helpful Guide