Physical and sexual abuse

Dealing with the affects of abuse

‘Abuse’ is the name we give to behaviour that is felt to be inappropriate, intrusive and damaging, which the recipient feels powerless to stop. When we talk of abuse we often think of this in relation to the action of an older person misusing their position of trust in relation to a child or a young person, and children who were habitually bullied at school may  be similarly affected. Sometimes adults also find themselves in abusive relationships, or they may experience an attack or assault which brings up feelings similar to those experienced by people abused in childhood.

Abuse can take different forms: it may be physical, emotional, sexual or a mixture of all three. It can happen to anyone regardless of gender, culture or age. It is not always easy to recognise that some of these experiences, particularly if you couldn't talk about them at the time, may be responsible for difficulties you are experiencing now.

If you are currently a victim of rape or domestic violence, there are a number of specialist agencies you may contact for help, including the police. But whether the abuse is recent, or something that happened in the past, you may find it difficult to talk about, and it may help you to talk through your experience with a professional counsellor.

Feelings commonly associated with abuse

You may feel any combination of the following:

External Resources

There are a range of external resources that may prove helpful to victims of abuse, whether this is of a physical or sexual nature. The following websites  provide helpful advice and information: