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Physical abuse

Recognise the signs of physical abuse


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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If you’re assaulted or injured in some way deliberately, then this is physical abuse. It includes being beaten, punched, kicked, burned, hit, shaken, bitten, shoved, pushed or anything else that leaves you in pain, injured or with a mark from the violence.

Examples of physical abuse

  • When you’re attacked, beaten or hit. It doesn’t matter if you did something wrong and the assault is supposed to be your punishment.
  • When someone hurts you physically because they’re angry or jealous, even if they apologise later, say they love you or say they didn’t mean to do it.
  • If you’re physically hurt and the abuser tells you that it’s your own fault, you deserved it or if you acted differently the violence wouldn’t be necessary.
  • When you’re threatened and shaken, shoved or pushed.
  • Bullying often is a mixture of physical and emotional abuse.

Escaping abuse

  • If you're in an abusive relationship or live with domestic violence then you need to get help and escape from the situation.
  • Tell someone you trust about the abuse and ask them to support you or go with you to the Gardaí or police.
  • If you can’t tell anyone that you know, you can speak confidentially with Samaritans.
  • If the abuser is someone you know and love, it can be very difficult to speak out against what’s happening. Remember that even if they are nice most of the time, abuse is illegal and you shouldn’t have to ever put up with it.
  • Sometimes an abuser will threaten to harm you or someone you love if you tell anyone what’s happening. They might say things like “I’ll kill you if you say anything”, “Nobody will believe you”, “This is our secret” or “I’ll hurt your brother if you say anything”. These threats are a way of frightening you into silence. If you tell the Gardaí or police they can make sure that you and other family members are safe from harm.
  • If you don’t tell someone about the abuse it will probably continue.
  • If the abuser is living in your home then you might need a temporary place to live in safety. There are refuges for victims of abuse and the gardaí or police will be able to help you. If you’re under 18 you can get help from social services.
  • Telling someone you’re being abused doesn’t meant that you’ll be taken away from your family. Social services will try to work out a situation that means you are safe from abuse, but still with your family.
  • SAFE Ireland (for women and children) AMEN (for men) can offer you emergency accommodation.
  • Even after the abuse has stopped you might have emotional or self-confidence problems. Visit a counsellor to help cope with your feelings.
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Published January 14th, 2013
Last updated October 27th, 2015
Tags physical abuse abuse safety
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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