Are you affected by abuse?


What is abuse?

There are many different kinds of abuse but all will hurt in some way.  The main three types are physical, emotional or sexual.  The abuse might happen once or many times.  If you have felt abused you must remember it’s not your  fault and it is important to tell someone about the  abuse and not try to deal with it alone

The different types of abuse

Physical abuse is any kind of  hitting, kicking, pinching, biting, shaking, burning, choking or  throwing. It is any action that causes  you physical injury or pain or leaves  marks. Domestic violence can be a type of  abuse that can affect you both physically and emotionally and happens in the home.

Sexual abuse is any type of sexual  contact between an adult and  anyone younger than 16. It can  also be sexual contact between a significantly older child and a  younger child.

Emotional abuse can be difficult  to recognise because there may  not be physical signs; such as cuts or bruises . It can be constant criticism, shouting, put downs or threats that affect yourself confidence. Emotional abuse hurts and causes damage just as physical abuse does.

Neglect is quite serious and is when your basic needs aren’t met – such as clean clothing, warmth, food,  education or emotions.  More information about this can found by clicking here.

Abuse can be extremely damaging to your mental health, no matter who you are, and can cause long term problems

We are all different and  no two people will be affected the same way. However the following can be some common ways to feel after abuse:

How we might feel

  • Shock/denial
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-harm
  • Relationship/sexual problems
  • Alcohol/drug problems
  • Low self-esteem/low confidence
  • Anger
  • Guilt/shame
  • Disbelief
  • Isolation
  • Humiliation
  • Difficulty in trusting others
  • Behavioural problems
  • Thoughts of suicide

If you feel that you or someone else is not being treated in the way  they should be – tell someone about it. That might be:

  • A parent
  • A nurse
  • A social worker
  • A school counsellor
  • A youth worker
  • A school nurse
  • A health visitor
  • A teacher
  • A GP

If you are in immediate danger or want urgent help call 999 and ask for the police.

If you now recognise that you have been affected in the past and need to speak to somebody, then contact your GP, they will be able to talk to you about any treatments that could help.

If you are having suicidal thoughts you must speak to someone immediately. If you are thinking of ending your life you must:

  • Contact your GP immediately, if the GP surgery is closed there will be a telephone message or your call will be diverted to the GP out of hours service.
  • Attend your local Accident and Emergency department
  • Phone the Samaritans on if you wish to talk 08457 90 90 90
  • If you have already created a ‘keep safe plan’ please refer to this plan of who you feel is best to contact.


Below are different local and national services that can offer you support. They are a mixture of helplines, websites and places in your area that can help.

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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