Abuse can be defined as: An intrusion into another person’s private space; be it physical, emotional or mental. And in doing so violating their primary human right to their privacy and over their body, mind and emotions.

Childhood sexual abuse can be helped quickly using Flourish Programme for Children

It is all too common for victims of child abuse, sexual abuse or those living in emotionally deprived environments to not realise that they are being

Sexual harrassment of a work mate

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace is abuse


They are forced to ‘normalise’ their life by saying “I deserve no better as I am worthless”. Many survivors use psychological coping mechanisms such as passivity, crushing their emotions and dissociating from reality and creating a fantasy life of a better future.

These victims of abuse have developed a hardiness and resilience as they had to become independent quickly to protect themselves. As adults are often decisive, intelligent, quick-witted, amiable, sociable and many are very charismatic.

But for many these are a ‘front’ as they are suffering well hidden psychosomatic symptoms that can result in IBS, high blood pressure, insomnia, chronic pains, migraines or stress.

In a relationship they often have:

  • anger
  • trust issues
  • sexual problems
  • infertility
  • alcohol/food binging
  • drugs

Sexual Violence

People who have experienced sexual abuse often have very powerful negative emotions – often against themself. Mainly as they view it as “It’s all my fault”.

They survived and grew up but the feelings and thoughts stay:

  • disgust with their physical body
  • guilt/shame and anger with themselves
  • self-mutilations

Lost in a world of isolation due to their emotions and memories with:

  • suicidal thoughts
  • feeling powerless
  • feeling of being worthless
  • no self-esteem
  • lack of confidence
  • negative self-image
  • who will fancy me now?
  • relationship difficulties
  • nightmares/insomnias
  • I have lost the real me
  • I have to live on pills to see me through the day
  • feel isolated
  • rejection/ betrayal/trust issues
  • got secrecy issues
  • fear of doing things wrong, punishment
  • fear of abandonment
  • sadness/depression

I dread to think how many times I have heard “I was born with a guilty conscience”.

People who have suffered abuse, especially as a child have huge burdens of guilt.

Are these guilty feelings the same as yours?

  • Do you feel overly responsible for other people?
  • Are you always trying to make everybody happy, at the expense of your own happiness?
  • Are you overly conscientious?
  • Do you worry about everything you do because of possible negative consequence to others?
  • Are you oversensitive; making you worry that things you’ve said may have caused offence?
  • You are hyper-sensitive to the cues of others in how they respond to you; always looking for the negative reaction?
  • Do you become a ‘wallflower’ around others; frightened of doing or saying something wrong?
  • Is it critical to always be right in your choices that you become unable to make a decision.
  • You ignore or squash the full array of your emotions and feel emotionally blocked or closed off.

Domestic Violence

Girl suffering abus efrom other girls

Abuse by friends is painful and cruel

Domestic violence involves:

Physical abuse:

  • hitting, punching, kicking
  • stabbing or use of other weapons
  • restriction about the victim’s movements within or outside the house

Words can be very abusive and have very long lasting and deep wounds.

Emotional/mental abuse

  • denigrating a partner or child about their looks, ability or personality,
  • emotional blackmail
  • mentally torturing their self-esteem
  • not letting them contact family of friends

Sexual abuse

  • forced sex
  • rape
  • using the abused person’s body as an object

Statistics on Domestic abuse:

  • Will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime
  • Leads to, on average, two women being murdered each week and 30 men per year
  • Accounts for 16% of all violent crime (Source: Crime in England and Wales 04/05 report), however it is still the violent crime least likely to be reported to the police
  • Has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police)
  • Is the single most quoted reason for becoming homeless (Shelter, 2002)
  • In 2010 the Forced Marriage Unit responded to 1735 reports of possible Forced Marriages.

In addition, approximately 400 people commit suicide each year who have attended hospital for domestic abuse injuries in the previous six months,

Leaving home due to domestic abuse

Girl with suit case leaving due to abuse

200 of these attend hospital on the day they go on to commit suicide.

Abusive relationships cross all social boundaries – ANYONE can be affected.

Anyone could be a victim, a survivor or a perpetrator of domestic abuse.  It also affects friends, family, colleagues and neighbours – whole communities can be affected.

Physical abuse can happen to adults and children

Men and women of all ages can be affected by abusive relationships; children and young people may be affected by abuse in the adult relationships around them, as well as in their own relationships.  Older people can experience abuse from their carer’s.

Domestic abuse affects people of all sexuality – heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people can all find themselves in abusive relationships.

Abusive relationships affect people with and without disabilities, with and without mental health issues, with and without substance misuse problems, with and without learning difficulties.

Domestic abuse affects people regardless of income; the unemployed and employed, people from all professions, wealthy people and those on a low income, the highly educated and those with little education can be in an abusive relationship.

Abusive relationships do not discriminate against religion, belief systems or ethnic backgrounds.

Provided with gratitude by the charity Living Without Abuse. The above is the copyright of LWA and not Richard Wain.   Website