Violence is the use of physical harm, or the threat of harm. When this violence causes fear in another person, it becomes an abusive action.
Abuse can happen to you once, or many times.
Abuse itself, takes many forms:
- physical Abuse: Intentionally causing pain or damage to the body
- verbal Abuse: Use of words to elicit negative emotions
- sexual Abuse: Unwanted sexual contact by force or emotional pressure, rape
- neglect: Not providing the necessities of life such as food or safety
- psychological Abuse: Use of words or actions to intentionally undermine an individual’s self-worth or cause fear
- witnessing Abuse: Can have similar effects on our emotional state.
Symptoms that may present, following abuse:
- changes to our thoughts and feelings: Fear of specific persons or situations, low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness
- behavioural symptoms: Avoidance, withdrawal, self-medication with drugs or alcohol, cringing or flinching if touched unexpectedly, regressing emotionally, anger, self harm
- physical symptoms: Tension, headaches, stomach upsets, bed-wetting, bruises and other physical injuries.
For further information see attachments and other topics under this heading.