Kathryn Patricelli, MA Dec 15, 2005 Updated Nov 2, 2015
Physical and sexual abuse greatly exacerbate the risk of substance use disorders. Abuse has particularly far-reaching effects when it occurs during childhood. Please learn more about treatment here.
Types of Abuse
- Verbal: They may verbally abuse them by calling them names, tell them they are stupid, have no worth or will not amount to anything on their own.
- Physical: They may become physically violent, inflicting pain, bruises, broken bones and other physical wounds (visible and hidden both).
- Sexual: They may rape or sexually assault their victims.
- Negligence: Alternatively they may neglect dependent victims, disavowing any responsibilities they may have towards those victims, and causing damage through lack of action rather than through a harmful, manipulative action itself.
Abuse is a commonplace event in modern times, taking on many different forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse, occurring in many different contexts, including the home (domestic violence, spouse rape, incest), the workplace (sexual harassment), and in institutional (elder abuse, bullying) and religious and community (hate crime) settings. It touches victims across the lifespan from children through elders. Abuse is a serious social and cultural problem affecting everyone whether as a victim of abuse, a perpetrator, a friend or confidant of an abused person looking for ways to be helpful, or simply as someone who is angered by injustice and wants to work for positive change.
If you are currently being abused, or have been abused in the past, you should know that you do not suffer alone. Right now millions of people around the world struggle to maintain dignity, safety and self-worth in the face of ongoing abuse. Millions more people struggle to recover from wounds they have sustained during past abuse. You should also know that help is available for victims of abuse, although it is not always easy to access. Community abuse resources (such as domestic violence shelters), mental health professionals, law enforcement, and various other organizations, websites and printed resources can provide instruction and assistance for people who need help removing themselves from abusive situations.
Victims of abuse often find themselves dealing with serious psychological and physical consequences of having been abused. There are various forms of counseling, psychotherapy, medical and self-help resources available for people who have been abused and want assistance and support for managing problems and issues they have developed as a result of being abused Such post-abuse issues are sometimes called 'abuse sequela' by health professionals. While no therapy is capable of erasing the effects of abuse, such resources can provide real and meaningful assistance in helping to minimize the negative effects of abuse. Helpful abuse-related resources can be found throughout this document, in the appendix of abuse-related resources provided at the end of this document, and in the lists of other (non-document) resources collected within this abuse topic center.
Some people aren't sure if they are being or have been abused. They may know that they have been harmed, but they may think that they deserved that harm, for instance, or perhaps think instead that some degree of harm is acceptable or reasonable, or just inevitable. Though it is not possible for us to give you a definite answer to any questions you may have about what is abuse and what is not abuse, consider that people who haven't been abused don't tend to spend much time wondering whether they have been abused, while a many people who have been abused (or are being abused) do wonder about it. If you are upset enough to wonder about it, it is likely (although not definite) that you have been abused. We'll explore the definition of abuse in greater detail later in this document.
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There are many different forms of abuse and many people do not realize. Verbal abuse is the use of words to attack, hurt or injure someone, or to gain power and control over them, or to persuade someone to believe something that is untrue and harmful. Abuse does not just occur with men to women, though this paper is going to focus on it. Abuse is about control and the fear of losing it. The abuser may fear not being “good enough” and or meeting others expectations. He/she may attempt to make their victim feel and believe similar things about him/her self. Abusers exploit, lie, insult, demean, ignore (the "silent treatment"), manipulate, and control. There are a million ways to abuse, directly and indirectly.
There are many different forms of abuse and some are when your partner shows rejection, isolation, degrading. These are a few different types of abuse and when used in an extreme situation are they types of abuse. Many people will show some of these characteristics yet when someone is showing more than one and are in an extreme situation is when the acts become abuse.
Emotional abuse has much in common with verbal abuse in that it is an attempt to hurt attack or control the victim. The emotional abuser often uses verbal abuse to hurt the victim, but can use other means as well. Emotional abuse often accompanies other forms of abuse such as physical abuse and verbal abuse. Individuals who hold the least power and resources in society are most often emotionally abused. This type of abuse has the potential to leave behind many significant hidden scars for the victim. Victims of physical abuse feel emotional abuse is more sever and debilitating than physical abuse. Out comes of emotional abuse may be manifested in a number of ways such as poor self esteem, social withdrawal, insecurity, substance abuse and difficulty forming positive attachments with others.
Emotional abuse can be difficult to pin down because there are no physical signs to look for. Sure, people yell at each other, express anger, and call each other names sometimes, and expressing anger can sometimes be healthy.
How to Cite this Page
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Abuse Emotional Abuse Gain Power Hurt Extreme Self Esteem Substance Abuse Losing Meeting Scars
But emotional abuse generally occurs when the yelling and anger go too far or when a parent constantly belittles, threatens, or dismisses a child until the child's self-esteem and feelings of self-worth are damaged. And just like physical abuse can cause physical scars, emotional abuse can bring about emotional damage.
If you are a victim of emotional or verbal abuse you should know you are not alone. It is not your fault and help is available. No one ever deserves to be abused or mistreated.