All About Abuse
There are many types of abuse that affects both Children, adults alike and people from all walks of life. In this guide, I will focus on some of the main types of child abuse experienced by adults as a child or young person. This is important because the traumatising experiences for many adults are often still showed in terms of emotional health, behaviours, habits, beliefs etc. This guide could give you a brief introduction to some of things each of the different types of abuse and how they could still affect you as an adult.
What is Child Abuse?
Abuse is basically when someone else causes us harm or distress. It can also take many forms, which I will describe below. It can also happen anywhere, in someone’s home, at school, in a public place etc.
What mainly happens is that the person carrying out the abuse are taking full advantage of the power they over their victim. This could be a family, partner, friend, or a paid carer – someone we expected we can trust.
Anyone can become a victim of abuse. It is no reflection on physical strength, gender, intelligence. In most circumstances, children and young people are not away that they are being abused. You could be aware that something is wrong but not sure why. Therapy will help you understand what happened to you and how it affected you.
What are examples of abuse?
There are different forms of abuse, here are some of them here:
Emotional Abuse is sometimes called psychological abuse but can still damage your health and well-being as a child or adult. Because there is often an element of emotional abuse in all types of abuse, it can be difficult to spot or to separate.
• Being blamed or scapegoated i.e. being singled out unnecessarily
• Gaslighting – where you are manipulated to the extent that you question your own sanity. This is done deliberately to maintain control
• Not supporting your individuality and your need to control your own life
• Not recognising that you have limitations and you feel you are pushed beyond what you can cope with
• Being exposed to distressing interactions or events such as violence, substance misuse.
• Being sent to Coventry – being ignored
• Constantly being unkind, never having positive feelings expressed or being congratulated
• Not showing any emotions either being
• Never showing any emotions (happy or sad) in interactions with you, also known as emotional neglect. If the person is constantly happy and doesn’t allow you to feel some of those “negative” emotions you could be feeling is also a form of neglect.
A child or adult is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities.
This doesn’t have to be physical contact and it can happen online. Sometimes you won’t understand that what’s happening to you is abuse.
– Sexual touching of any part of your body whether or not you are wearing clothes
– Rape or penetration by putting an object or body inside your body
– Being forced or encouraged to take part in a sexual activity
– Being made to touch someone else
Non-contact abuse involves non-touching activities, such as grooming, exploitation, persuading children to perform sexual acts over the internet and flashing. It includes:
– encouraging a child to watch or hear sexual acts
– not taking proper measures to prevent a child being exposed to sexual activities by others
– meeting a child following sexual grooming with the intent of abusing them
– online abuse including making, viewing or distributing child abuse images
– allowing someone else to make, view or distribute child abuse images
– showing pornography to a child
Physical abuse is deliberately hurting someone and causing injuries such as broken bones, burns, bruises or cuts.
People often suffer violence from being hit, kicked, poisoned, burned, slapped or having objects thrown at them.
This is the ongoing failure to meet a child’s needs. This is the most common form of abuse.
This could be:
– Being left hungry or dirty without proper clothing or shelter, medical help
– Not getting the love or attention they need
– Failing to ensure a child receives an education.
– Failing to meet a child’s needs for nurture and stimulation, perhaps by ignoring, humiliating, intimidating or isolating them. It’s often the most difficult to prove.
– Failing to provide appropriate health care, including dental care and refusal of care or ignoring medical recommendations.
Religious or Spiritual Abuse
This can often refer to a religious elder or faith leader abusing congregation members by creating a toxic atmosphere. This could involve shaming or controlling individual members abusing their power of their position. This could often result in individual members feeling isolated and alone if they don’t “fit in” with the culture in whatever way.
A classic example of this is someone from the LGBTQ+ community who may have been abused because of their sexual identity. Being labelled as being “sinful” amongst other things. Around the world people are still being killed and tortured because of their sexual or gender identity.
There can also be spiritual abuse between intimate partners and from parent to child. Signs of spiritual abuse can be:
– ridicules or insults the other person’s religious or spiritual beliefs
– uses religious texts or beliefs to minimize or rationalize abusive behaviors
– prevents the other partner from practicing their religious or spiritual beliefs
– uses their partner’s religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate or shame them
What causes abuse?
Even there are no excuses for abusing a child or young person, there are factors that may increase a person’s risk of becoming abusive which includes:
– Having a history of being abused or neglected as a child
– Experiencing Physical or mental illness, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
– Family crisis or stress, including domestic violence and other marital conflicts, or single parenting
– Having a child in the family who is developmentally or physically disabled
– Financial stress, unemployment or poverty
– Very little social or extended family isolation
– Poor understanding of child development and parenting skills
– Alcohol, drugs or other substance abuse
What are the effects of Abuse?
Why abuse affects each child differently is really complex and is worth the journey of finding out why with a Trauma Informed Therapist such as myself.
Here are some examples of how abuse can affect you:
– Avoid commitment
– Feel anxious
– Avoid relationships
– Not knowing what a relationship is
– Experiencing domestic abuse
– Perpetrator of domestic abuse
– Multiple health issues i.e. heart problems, autoimmune disease, lung disease and cancer
– Chronic health problems such as frequent colds, headaches, back ache, period problems
– Premature death
– Learning disabilities – not being able to read or write, not reaching their full potential
– Violent behaviour
– Anti-social behaviour
– Sexual exploitation (at risk off)
– High-risk sexual behaviors or teen pregnancy
– Problems in school or not finishing high school
– Problems with work or staying employed
– Low self esteem
– Trusting others
– Finding it hard to cope with stress
– Difficulties in managing emotions
Mental health issues
– Personality disorders
– Eating Disorders
– Substance misuse (could be alongside mental health issues)
– Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
– Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
– Sleep problems
– Attachment Disorders
How I can help myself
Try not to listen to other’s opinion of how you should feel concerning what you have been through. No one should tell you how to react. You know your experiences and how your life is right now.
Therapy would help you to understand why it has impacted you the way that it has and help you to be gentler on yourself.
I have another article here the provides many ways on how you can start to take care of yourself so you can start to feel better.:
40 Different Strategies to help you cope with difficult emotions
Beginning Your Healing Journey – Important things to know about
If You Are Feeling Suicidal…
There are many people who want to support you during this difficult time, so please reach out! Remember that suicide is a permanent solution to a problem that is temporary as things never stay the same!
Call the Samaritans free telephone number on 116 123
What therapy is best for anxiety?
Talking with me, a psychotherapist and counsellor, I can support you explore the root causes of your depression and low mood.
I would support you in looking at how what is happening with your mind, body, spirit and what is in your environment is impacting on how you are feeling. Will work together for a plan and a way forward for you.
The work I do with you is based on 35 years of research and client work with thousands of people. We provide Holistic Integrative sustainable, workable solutions that work!
Find out how we can help you today
Depression treatment with me will help you tackle your depression and move forward with a positive outlook on your life.
Call me now or complete my online booking form to make an appointment with me
Call me now or complete my online booking form to make an appointment with me
Ready to transform your life?
I am a Therapist based in Sutton Coldfield, UK also available online.
Also, don’t forget to follow me for daily content: