Abuse is when a person mistreats another either physically or psychologically. It’s important to understand that a person can abuse another without ever laying a finger on them. It is also possible for people to not realize they are being abused or be in denial.
- Physical: Inappropriate touching or physical violence toward another person in any setting is abuse.
- Verbal: Aggressive shouting, insults, demeaning comments, threats to wellbeing, offensive language, shaming and blaming, intimidation
- Child Abuse: Children can be abused physically and or psychologically by a parent, guardian, teacher, coach, or another child.
- Domestic Abuse: A person can abuse their significant other by restricting their behavior financially and physically, with insults and humiliation, or by being overly possessive.
Physical abuse leaves obvious signs on the body like cuts and bruises that may cause a person to wear seasonally inappropriate clothing in an effort to hide these marks. They may also make up stories to explain how they received the marks. Psychological abuse may be occurring if a person is suddenly no longer able to see their friends, has unusually low self-esteem, or has feelings of worthlessness.
Abuse causes deep psychological trauma that will hinder a person if left unchecked. A psychotherapist will know the signs of abuse and be able to give advice on how to take control of the situation. If physical abuse is taking place, a therapist will be able to assist a client in getting to a safe place before advising further action. Victims of abuse deal with feelings of guilt that cause significant psychological distress. A therapist will help a victim feel less isolated as they begin the path to recovery.
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