Pauline Matthews Dip Couns. MBACP
Abuse occurs when people mistreat or misuse other people, showing no
concern for their integrity or innate worth as individuals, and in a
manner that degrades their well being. Abusers frequently are interested
in controlling their victims. They use abusive behaviors to manipulate
their victims into submission or compliance with their will.
Abuse is a commonplace event in modern times, taking on many different forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse, occurring in many different contexts, including the home (domestic violence, spouse rape, incest), the workplace (sexual harassment), and in institutional (elder abuse, bullying) and religious and community (hate crime) settings. It touches victims across the lifespan from children through elders. Abuse is a serious social and cultural problem affecting everyone whether as a victim of abuse, a perpetrator, a friend or confidant of an abused person looking for ways to be helpful, or simply as someone who is angered by injustice and wants to work for positive change.
Some of our family history is not a source of either discussion, understanding, or pride. Until recently, spanking or whipping children was a common controlling technique. Additionally, it was not uncommon for husbands to beat wives.
Sexual abuse of children is a grim fact of life in our society. It is more common than most people realise. Some surveys say that at least 1 out of 5 women and 1 out of 10 men recall sexual abuse in childhood.
Psychological or verbal aggression by either party must be considered an early warning sign that physical abuse is possible in the near future. A person who is easily enraged, engages in frequent jealous acts, and has a family history of abusive relationships must take careful note of his high potential to become a batterer.
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