Know when to say no and get help
Abuse can have long-term consequences; even when there are no physical signs of abuse, victims can carry scars for many years.
We all know how to recognise the signs of physical abuse, the bruises, cuts, and timid behaviour. We all tell ourselves that we would never ever let anyone hit or harm us. We tell ourselves this…until it happens.
The truth is chomas, that abuse is never your fault and always reflects on the failings of the person who is the abuser, not the victim. If we grow up with a parent who has a temper and hits us, this is not our fault, the same goes for later in life if we end up with a partner who does the same. The important thing to remember is that being abused is not your fault, but once it happens you have the choice to stand up and get help; there will always be people and organisations willing to help. You are not alone.
Abuse comes in many forms
Physical abuse is the most easily recognisable, but by no means not the most common. Sadly, there are many forms of abuse. Learn to recognise these and you are one step closer to ending the negative cycle.
This is unfortunately one of the most common forms of abuse, and one of the least identified. Outside of the home, this can be in the form of bullies or even a manipulative teacher or a boss who's always attacking you verbally. Words can hurt. When we're small, the way our parents treat us has an influence on how we see ourselves and the world, parents who are emotionally abusive often have their own problems and unfortunately take it out on their children. Sometimes through excessive temper and shouting, or through harsh criticism and emotional blackmail. Emotional abuse is hard on a person and will take years of counselling to heal. Remember, if something feels wrong and is making you feel awful about yourself, you have a right to speak up.
Sexual abuse is any sexual act that someone performs on you or forces you to perform on them through manipulation, threat, violence or simply without your consent. If an adult engages in a sexual or inappropriate acts with a minor, this is seen as abuse. Remember, the law is on your side and will protect you. Often sexual abusers will manipulate the situation and convince you that it was your idea or it is just a basic expression of love. Don’t fall for it. You know what is right and wrong and saying no should always be enough.
Physical Abuse & family violence
Being in a situation where you are physically abused (hit, punched, or harmed) or where you witness family violence (your father hitting your mother) can have long-term effects past the physical. Never be fooled into thinking it's your fault.
Abuse isn't always about having something done to you. If you as a child are not being taken care of by your parents or caregivers with a roof over your head and food to eat, this is a form of abuse. Every human has basic rights, and when you are not being taken care of by those who should be, that is abuse.
No matter what type of abuse, don’t be afraid to speak out. Help is at hand.
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