What is ABUSE ?
“What is Abuse?”

Abuse is the improper treatment of another being.

Abuse can happen to anyone of any age,gender or walk of life and unfortunately is quite common. (Though uncommonly talked about)
Abuse takes many different forms including emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse.

Victims of abuse often deal with serious physical and psychological difficulties after being being abused and often need counseling or therapy to recover from the abuse suffered.

Common forms of ABUSE

Emotional Abuse (Sometimes labeled Psychological Abuse)

Emotional abuse can be any kind of harm caused to someones emotional state. It can cause great harm to a persons identity and self worth.

For example:

  • Yelling
  • Name calling
  • Mocking
  • Being put down
  • Saying hurtful things
  • Ignoring and excluding
  • Intentionally frightening
  • Though physical abuse is often seen as more serious,the impact of emotional abuse can be just as devastating. Emotional abuse is also the most difficult type of abuse to identify due to there not being any outward signs of it happening.

    Those who have been emotionally abused are usually left with extremely low self esteem and can be left with depression and feeling suicidal.

    Physical Abuse

    Physical abuse can be any kind of injury or harm caused to another person physically.

    For example:

    • Hitting
    • Shaking
    • Choking
    • Beating
    • Burning

    Physical abuse is often the most recognized form of abuse. This is usually due to family, friends or coworkers noticing marks or bruises on the person being physically abused.

    Sexual Abuse

    Sexual abuse is any unwanted sexual contact without consent.

    For example:

    • Rape
    • Attempted rape
    • Inappropriate touching
    • Inappropriate phone calls or texts
    • Sexual harassment

    Many people often think of ‘Rape’ when they hear sexual abuse but this isn’t the only form. Almost any sexual act that makes you feel uncomfortable or afraid could fall under the category of sexual abuse.

    Other forms of ABUSE

    Child Abuse

    Child abuse can be in the form of emotional,physical or sexual abuse.

    Though not always obvious,ignoring or neglecting a child’s needs is also classed as child abuse.

    Signs of emotional abuse in children:

    • Fearful or anxious of doing things wrong
    • Withdrawn
    • Unattached to the caregiver
    • Afraid to go home
    • Runs away from home

    Signs of physical abuse in children:

    • Unexplained marks or bruises
    • Refuses touch
    • Jumps and flinches at sudden movement
    • Wears ill-fitting clothing to cover up
    • Afraid to go home
    • Runs away from home

    Signs of sexual abuse in children:

    • Knowledge or interest in sexual acts
    • Wont change in front of others
    • Nightmares and sleeping problems
    • Outbursts of anger
    • Bed wetting
    • Afraid to go to abusers home

    Children are at much greater risk of abuse in certain situations:

    • Alcohol and drug abuse – Parents who are drunk or are using drugs are unable to care for children properly and don’t often make good parenting decisions.
    • Untreated mental illness – Parents who suffer from mental illness can often struggle to look after themselves making it hard for them to look after children properly.
    • Lack of parenting skills – Parents that lack skill or parenting knowledge may punish their children due to unrealistic expectations of the child.
    • Stress – Parents who are under large amount of stress can struggle with caring for children and can lead to them emotionally or physically abusing the child.


    Neglect is a form of abuse that occurs when someone is responsible for the care of another being but doesn’t provide it.

    For example:

    • Not having adequate food
    • Not having suitable housing
    • Having unclean and unsuitable clothing
    • Not having the appropriate medical care
    • Belittling or ignoring

    There are also two forms of neglect:

    • Active neglect – Intentional withholding of care
    • Passive neglect – Unintentionally withholding care due to lack of experience or ability

    Neglect is not one of the forms of abuse you hear about very often but is something very serious. It can cause long term effects or even death in some more serious cases.

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