What is Abuse?
The NSPCC defines abuse as:
“Child abuse is any form of physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment or lack of care that leads to injury or harm.
It commonly occurs within a relationship of trust or responsibility and is an abuse of power or a breach of trust. Abuse can happen to a child regardless of their age, gender, race or ability. Abusers can be adults (male or female) and other young people, and are usually known to and trusted by the child and family (NSPCC 2009).”
Abuse can happen once, twice or many times, no matter how many times it happens it is wrong and you should never have to suffer it.
Are you forced to do something you don’t want to do? Does someone repeatedly hurt you? Do you feel uncomfortable doing something but do it anyway just to please someone? Does someone want you to keep secrets by telling you bad things will happen if you tell? Are you locked in your room all the time? Are you always been put down and told you are no good? If any of these situations sound like something you have experienced you this may be abuse.
There are four main types of abuse:
This is where someone pressures or forces you to engage in sexual activity. This could include wanting to look or touch your genitals, wanting you to look or touch their genitals. It could be getting you to look at or watch pornographic pictures or films, or asking you to pose for videos or pictures without your clothes on. If you feel uncomfortable, if you feel it is wrong and you should not be doing it, then there is a good chance it is abuse.
This is where someone hits, punches, kicks, slaps, bites, or burns you and where you suffer some physical harm, such as a cut, bruise, burn or broken bone. This will give you an idea of what we call physical abuse, but if you are in any doubt please call us and ask.
Emotional abuse is a bit harder to describe, it is a bit like bullying, where you are always being told you are stupid, called names or humiliated in front of other people. It makes you feel useless, unloved, hated, and no good for anything; it’s almost like brain washing, with someone else controlling you.
Neglect is where someone is meant to be looking after you and they don’t. Are you left at home on your own for long periods of time? With no food in the home for you to eat? Is the person looking after you always drunk? Are your clothes unwashed.These are all situations where young people can be neglected.