Know the signs of physical abuse
Recognise the signs of physical abuse and find out what to do if you are being physically abused
If you’re assaulted or injured in some way deliberately, then this is physical abuse. Know the signs of physical abuse and where to go to for help if you or someone you know is being physically abused.
Physical abuse isn't just assault or injury, it can also be doing something that puts you at risk of being physically hurt. It can be a once-off (single) incident, or it can be an ongoing issue.
Abuse is never okay. If someone is physically abusing you, there are people you can turn to for help. You don't need to go through it alone.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Getting help for physical abuse
- Remember that abuse is never your fault.
- Tell someone you trust about the abuse and ask them to support you or go with you to the Gardaí if that's what you want to do.
- If you aren't ready to speak to someone you know, you can call Childline (under 18's) on 1800 66 66 66 or Samaritans on 116 123.
- If the abuser is someone you know and love, it can be very difficult to speak out against what’s happening. Remember that what they are doing is wrong and it is not your fault.
- 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.
- SAFE Ireland (for women and children) can offer you information and help you find emergency accommodation for anyone living with domestic violence.
- AMEN can offer support and information to men experiencing domestic violence.
- Even after the abuse has stopped you might have emotional or self-confidence problems. Visit a counsellor to help cope with your feelings.