Counselling for Abuse
What is Abuse?
There are many different types of abuse. While the more common forms include domestic violence, child abuse and emotional abuse, any behaviour towards someone that causes deliberate harm or upset can be considered abuse. Abuse has the potential to have long-lasting effects on a person’s physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Some types of abuse include:
Physical abuse-This is often the most easily recognized form of abuse. Physical abuse can be any kind of hitting, shaking, burning, pinching, biting, choking, throwing, beating, and other actions that cause physical injury, leave marks, or cause pain.
Sexual abuse- This is any type of sexual contact between an adult and anyone younger than 18; between a significantly older child and a younger child; or if one person overpowers another, regardless of age. If a family member sexually abuses another family member, this is called incest.
Emotional abuse- This can be the most difficult to identify because there are usually no outward signs of the abuse. Emotional abuse happens when yelling and anger go too far or when parents constantly criticize, threaten, or dismiss kids or teens until their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth are damaged. Emotional abuse can hurt and cause damage just as physical abuse does.
Neglect- Neglect is difficult to identify and define. Neglect occurs when a child or teen doesn't have adequate food, housing, clothes, medical care, or supervision. Emotional neglect happens when a parent doesn't provide enough emotional support or deliberately and consistently pays very little or no attention to a child. This doesn't mean that a parent doesn't give a kid something he or she wants, like a new computer or a cell phone, but refers to more basic needs like food, shelter, and love.
It can take years to build up courage to speak about sexual abuse, especially if it happened in childhood. But talking about it with a trained professional can be the first step towards processing the trauma and helping to heal the wounds. Seeking support through counselling can be a positive first step in helping you work through – and overcome – those effects.