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What are the different types of abuse?

Find out more about the types of abuse and where to turn for help


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


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Living in an abusive situation is incredibly difficult and can have emotional, physical, and psychological impacts. If you are worried that you or someone you know is being abused, there are steps you can take.

You may still care for/love your partner, you may be extremely frightened of more abuse if you do leave, or you may second guess yourself and wonder if you are really being abused. Abuse can include neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuse. Men, women, young people and adults are all at risk of abuse.

It's important to remember that nobody has the right to hurt you physically or emotionally, even if they're in a position of authority or they say that they love you. Abuse is wrong and it is never your fault.

Different types of abuse

There are a number of different types of abuse including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. You can find information on different types of abuse and who you can turn to in our fact sheets below.

Finding help for abuse

  • Talk to someone you trust about what's going on and let them know your concerns. Ask them to support you or go with you to the Gardaí if that's what you want to do.
  • If you want to report a concern of abuse, you can get in touch with your local TUSLA office.
  • It can be very difficult to speak about what’s happening. If you can’t tell anyone that you know, you can talk to Childline (under 18s) on 1800 66 66 66 or Samaritans on 116 123.
  • Know that abuse is never your fault. You are not to blame.
  • Sometimes an abuser will threaten to harm you or someone you love if you tell anyone what’s happening. These threats are a way of frightening you into silence. It is important to seek help from people who can get you out of your abusive situation.
  • 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 will be able to help you. If you’re under 18 you can get help from TUSLA Social work services.
  • SAFE Ireland provides contact details for emergency accommodation and refuge from abuse and domestic violence across Ireland.
  • AMEN is a voluntary group which provides a confidential helpline, information and a support service for male victims of domestic abuse and their children.
  • Telling someone you’re being abused doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be taken away from your family. Social Services will try to work out a situation where they can support your family to ensure your needs are met, but
    still remain with your family.

  • Even after the abuse has stopped you might have emotional or self-confidence problems. Seeing a counsellor can help you work through your feelings. 

If you need to talk to someone right now you can call Childline for free on 1800 66 66 66  or contact Samaritans for free on 116 123, text 087 2 60 90 90 (standard rates), or email jo@samaritans.ie 

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Published January 9th, 2013
Last updated April 17th, 2018
Tags abuse relationships domestic violence
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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