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Abuse can take many forms, physical, sexual, emotional/psychological and neglect.
Physical abuse constitutes acts of physical violence such as hitting, shaking, burning, choking and other actions that can cause physical injury to the body. Mugging can also be constituted as physical abuse.
Sexual abuse covers actions of a sexual nature such as rape, sexual assault, or forms of child abuse.
Emotional Abuse can be the most difficult to identify because there are usually no outward signs of abuse. Emotional abuse constitutes actions such as being criticised constantly, threatened, bullied, dismissed, or being shouted at. Emotional abuse can be just as painful and damaging as other forms of abuse.
Neglect can occur when adequate food, housing, clothing or medical care is not provided for example in childhood. Additionally, emotional neglect happens when support, love and attention are not provided.
For those who have suffered the pain and devastation of abuse, it can be extremely hard to confide in those around. You may be experiencing painful memories and unwarranted feelings of guilt, shame and anger. You may be currently experiencing abuse and feel unable to protect yourself or you may feel partly responsible for the abuse.
How common is abuse?
Nearly 20,000 women experience incidents of domestic abuse every week.
1 out of 3 girls and 1 out of 5 boys will experience sexual abuse in childhood. Emotional abuse is the second most common reason for children needing protection against abuse.A significant proportion of children experiencing emotional abuse will also be experiencing another type of abuse.
It is estimated that 54% of rapes are not reported.
What is the treatment for abuse?
If you are currently experiencing abuse, your Psychologist will support you to make the decisions and take the action that you need to take to protect yourself.
Your Psychologist will then help you to process your abuse in a way that allows it to remain in the past and no longer influence your current experiences, choices and how you feel about yourself.Your Psychologist will provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment to help you to deal with the intensity of emotion as you talk through painful memories. They can also equip you with new perspectives and tools to help you develop healthier coping strategies, and provide you with techniques to deal with any flashbacks and nightmares that keep the pain of abuse alive.
The journey to overcoming abuse is a difficult one, and it may be the case that it has to become harder before it gets better, but no matter the circumstance your Psychologist will support you through every step, empowering you so that you are able to move on and live your life. The therapy will also seek to relieve accompanying symptoms such as depression, anxiety and low confidence. If appropriate your Psychologist will then help you to protect yourself against future abusive relationships.