It’s easy to feel alone if you’re being abused, and it can seem impossible to see a way out of the situation. The good news is that with so many good support networks out there, and people who care ready to fight your corner, you can put a stop to the suffering.
What is abuse?
Abuse is when a person does something to you that you don’t want to happen. An abuser could be anyone in your life – a peer, colleague, teacher, family member or complete stranger – and their actions could take a number of different forms.
- Physical abuse: when someone hurts you on purpose, for instance by hitting, strangling, burning or shaking you
- Emotional abuse: when someone undermines your self-esteem and self-worth through the way they treat you
- Verbal abuse: when someone says things to hurt you
- Sexual abuse: when someone makes you take part in sexual activities that you’re not comfortable with
- Neglect: when a parent or carer doesn’t look after you properly
How do I know if I’m being abused?
In many cases, abuse is carried out by someone the person who is being abused knows quite well, and for that reason, it might not be something you find easy to report. If the abuse is regular and follows a set pattern, it can quickly feel normal and fool you into thinking it’s just a part of everyday life. But it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself if things are being done to you and your body that you want to stop. Here are some signs that you could be being abused.
- Are you being physically hurt, or do you worry that you might be?
- Do you feel like you’re being controlled, monitored or manipulated?
- Do you feel belittled or worthless because of the way you’re spoken to or treated?
- Are you forced to take part in sexual activities, even if you’re not comfortable with it, or are too young?
- Do you feel isolated, with someone preventing you from spending time with your family and friends?
- Are you scared to tell anyone what’s going on – perhaps because you’ve been threatened with punishment if you do?
How can I get support?
If you feel you need help, then it’s good to talk to someone you trust – sharing how you feel with a parent, friend or teacher can make a big difference.
If you live in Gloucestershire and are aged 9-21, you can get support from our TIC+ counsellors. TIC+ works hard at raising funds so they can arrange for a counsellor to see you for free, all you need to do is call us on 01594 372777 or text us on 07520 634063 to arrange an appointment. We know it can be hard to take that first step but, like the other young people we’ve helped, you’ll be so glad you did.
If you need to speak to someone urgently, call Childline on 0800 1111, NHS 111 (on 111) or the Samaritans on 116 123. There’s always someone there to help, and any conversations you have with them are confidential.
For more advice check out our SUPPORT RESOURCES page!