Different Types Of Abuse And Their Impact On You

By Sarah Fader

Updated December 06, 2019

We Know That Any Abuse Can Have A Drastically Negative Impact On Your Life
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Abuse is an epidemic and is very common all over the world. Whether it is intimate partner violence, child abuse, or adult abuse, they are all too common. While abuse is known to cause physical injuries, it can also cause mental issues. In fact, these situations can affect your mental health even if it only happens one time. But it if happens on a regular basis, the chances of mental health disorders caused by abuse is inevitable. Many individuals who have suffered abuse as a child or a partner (such as husband or wife), end up with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, and many other emotional issues.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse can include any type of physical harm to another person such as:

  • Kicking, punching, slapping, hitting
  • Forcing partner to use substances
  • Controlling medication or refusing medical care
  • Strangulation
  • Burning
  • Using weapons on such as knives, guns, or other weapon

Mental Abuse

Mental or emotional abuse is when a partner uses mind games to control their loved one. Some of the tactics used include:

  • Degradation
  • Causing undue fear
  • Stalking
  • Refusing to let the person go anywhere
  • Isolating the person
  • Humiliating or shaming the person
  • Intimidating the person
  • Showing extreme jealousy
  • Blaming your partner for everything
  • Insulting or calling names
  • Making the person feel bad about themselves

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is not really about sex but about power and control. When a person forces their partner to perform any kind of sexual behavior without their consent, it is sexual abuse. Some of these are:

  • Convincing the person to have sex without birth control
  • Physically hurting the person while having sexual relations
  • Having sexual activity with someone who is not coherent, intoxicated, or afraid to say no
  • Making a person have sex with others against their will

Child Abuse

Child abuse can include psychological, sexual, or physical mistreatment of a child. This can be done by the parent or any caregiver of the child. It may be something that is done or something withheld from the child that can cause some type of harm. Some of the examples include:

  • Beating, hitting, kicking, slapping
  • Choking, strangling
  • Burning
  • Pulling hair
  • Shaking
  • Throwing, dropping
  • Biting
  • Scratching or pinching
  • Forcing child to eat or swallow dangerous things (spices or soap)

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Child Neglect

Child neglect can be complicated and has different categories. They include:

  • Abandoning or leaving your child alone for long periods of time
  • Lack of education, keeping child home from school
  • Emotional neglect by not providing support and nurturing
  • Lack of medical care
  • Physical neglect includes not providing the basic necessities like a safe home and healthy food
  • Supervisory neglect is when the parent ignores things their child is doing that can cause them harm

Adult Abuse

Elder or adult abuse is usually done by family members but can also be done by any caregiver. Similar to children, many elderlies are helpless and susceptible to physical, mental, financial, sexual abuse, and neglect. The abuse can be done by actually hurting the person, withholding care or medication, sexual abuse or rape, withholding or stealing finances, and mental abuse such as name calling and humiliation.

  • Physical abuse - inflicting pain or physical restraint
  • Mental or emotional abuse - causing humiliation, degradation, or other emotional trauma
  • Financial or material abuse - withholding or taking funds from the elderly person
  • Sexual abuse - any type of sexual contact with the elderly person that is not consensual
  • Neglect - withholding care or medication

Financial Abuse

If your partner has control over your finances and withholds money needed or causes you to lose your job, this is financial abuse. Some of the examples include:

  • Deliberately making a person's credit score go down
  • Controlling all the household finances and not allowing you to use your own money
  • Harassing your partner at work
  • Hurting your partner so they cannot work


Bullying is the mean or aggressive behavior of children that involves being overpowered. This can be when a single child picks on another child or when a group of children pick on one or more children. It usually happens on a regular basis and causes the bullied child to be afraid to go to school. Some examples are:

  • Calling a child names
  • Pushing or hitting another child
  • Inciting others to pick on the child
  • Constant ridicule
  • Intimidating a child

The Statistics

According to the experts, one in four girls and one in six boys are victims of sexual abuse by the time they are 18. In fact, close to 60,000 American children are sexually abused every year. Some other statistics of abuse include:

  • One in three women (almost 36%) have been raped, beaten, or stalked by an intimate partner. Also, one in five women in the United States have been raped while one in 71 men claim to have been raped. More than half of the females who report being raped are raped by their partner
  • An average of 72% of victims of abuse have post-traumatic stress disorder
  • About 71% of abuse victims have depression
  • Between 40% and 75% of victims of abuse experience anxiety disorders
  • Approximately 7 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year

The Effects of Abuse

The effects of abuse vary depending on the type of abuse, length and severity of the abuse, and the person who was abused. Some people may come through abuse with very little effects at all but most have mental scars at the very least and possibly physical scars as well. The physical scars of abuse are usually visible right away such as:

  • Bruises, cuts, burns
  • Broken bones
  • Black eyes
  • Tooth loss
  • Internal bleeding
  • Brain damage
  • Head trauma
  • Blindness
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Death

We Know That Any Abuse Can Have A Drastically Negative Impact On Your Life
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The psychological scars of abuse may take longer to manifest and may last forever if treatment is not received. Some of the most common psychological scars include:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Depression
  • Acting out (misbehaving, getting in trouble with police)
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Risky behavior
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Mood or personality disorders
  • Fear of relationships
  • Lack of self-esteem

Most victims of abuse will tell you that the psychological scars of abuse are worse than the physical scars because they never go away and even though they are unseen to the naked eye, they are just as painful.

Who Are the Abusers?

The abuser may be a loved one such as a husband, wife, or intimate partner; a parent or grandparent; a sibling; or another relative. It may also be a teacher, coach, or family friend. It is impossible to tell who an abuser may be because many times they are just like anyone else. However, there are some risk factors, which are:

  • Someone who has suffered from abuse in the past
  • May be cruel to animals or children
  • Unpredictable
  • Believe they are better than everyone else
  • See people as property
  • Extreme jealousy
  • Bad temper
  • Very controlling

If You Are Being Abused

The first thing to do if you are in an abusive situation is to get away. If you are a child or elderly person who is being abused by a caregiver, you need to tell someone right away. There are alternatives and you have options even if your abuser tells you that you do not. That is what they do, they brainwash you into believing that you have no place to go and that nobody will believe you or help you. This is absolutely false in all cases. No matter what, if you are being abused, someone will help you. If you cannot get away from the person long enough to get help, you can contact someone online that can help. There are professionals that can get you the help you need no matter what is going on.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Many victims of abuse have post-traumatic stress disorder and do not even know it. The signs of this disorder include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Guilt and shame
  • Memory loss
  • Insomnia
  • Feelings of extreme anger or irritation
  • Avoiding people and public places
  • Inability to trust anyone
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Unexplained bouts of crying
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Shaking, trembling
  • Nervousness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Chronic pain
  • Extreme fatigue

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Treatment for Abuse Victims

There is counseling for every type of abuse from physical, sexual, psychological, and even financial abuse. The best way to help is to talk about it but that is not easy for many victims of abuse. It may take years before a victim is able to talk about what happened to them. In fact, even if the abuse happened 10 or 20 years ago, it may seem like it is still going on for them if they have not gotten treatment.

One of the most effective treatments for abuse is cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a form of talk therapy that helps you deal with depression and anxiety by interrupting the link between the mind and the body when you are under stress. In other words, it is psychotherapy that teaches you how to focus on your thoughts and behaviors so you can control them. It is a way of breaking the connection between your bad memories of the past and the feelings and behaviors of the future.

Online Therapy

One important fact about abuse victims is that many do not want to leave the safety of their homes. After being in an abusive situation and finally finding a place where they feel safe, many victims have a hard time going outside that space. Therefore, online therapy can be a major blessing for them. Being able to talk to a therapist from the safety of their own home gives the victim more security and the chances of their treatment being successful is much higher.

In fact, many victims of abuse cancel their appointments over and over again if they are seeing a therapist outside their home. This is true for many patients with mental health disorders. Online therapy has become a lifesaver to these people and many others like them because they would not have gotten therapy otherwise. Betterhelp.com is the largest mental health provider in the world and has more than 2,000 licensed professional therapists who can help you now. No appointment needed.

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