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Do you feel like you might have been abused?​

What is abuse?

Abuse is when someone uses their power to cause you harm or distress. It can take lots of different forms ranging from disrespect to causing someone physical or mental distress.

It can be carried out by a stranger or by someone you know and trust.

​Talking about abuse is important

Abuse isn’t easy to talk about, but it’s an important conversation to have if you, or someone you know is being abused. It’s super important to know what abuse is and to recognise the signs when it’s happening. Anyone can become a victim of abuse – it’s no reflection of intelligence, strength or worth.

What is psychological abuse?

Physical abuse can look like:

  • Intimidation, control, verbal abuse or threatening behaviour

  • Preventing freedom of expression and/or choice

  • Not respecting your privacy

  • Removing aids, assistance and comforts

  • Limiting or completely stopping any contact or support

What is modern slavery?

  • Modern slavery can look like:

  • Forced labour

  • Debt bondage – forced to work to pay off debts

  • Sexual servitude

  • Human trafficking


What is physical abuse?

  • Physical abuse can look like:

  • Any form of harmful contact which includes things like punching, biting, pushing, burning, hair pulling or kicking

  • Misuse of medication, either withholding or forcing someone to take it

  • Forcible feeding or withholding food

  • Restraint

  • Sexual abuse of any kind

  • Rape and attempted rape

  • Any sexual activity where consent isn’t given

  • Sexual photography or messages where consent isn’t given

  • Inappropriate touch or touch with consent

  • Indecent exposure at home or in a public place

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse can look like:

  • Theft of money or possessions

  • Preventing a person accessing their own money

  • Misuse of power of attorney

  • Misuse of a person’s allowance, income or benefits

  • Moving into a person’s home and living rent free without consent

How to get help for abuse

It can be hard to speak out when you’re suffering from abuse but there are many organisations out there that can get you the support and help you need. You can also talk to your GP or health professional.

Remember, abuse is never OK and never deserved.

Tools & Resources

Read our latest posts about abuse

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