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Abuse can take many different forms. Domestic violence, child abuse, and emotional abuse are the most well-known types of abuse, however, any behaviour against another that causes intentional harm or distress may be considered abuse.


Abusive behaviour can have a huge impact on our mental health and well-being, not only at the time of the abuse but the emotional trauma that can also stay for the rest of our lives.


There are various types of abuse. We will discuss the warning signs of abuse and how counselling can support the victims of abuse. We’ll also talk about the qualities to look for in a counsellor or psychotherapist.

Emotional abuse


Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse, refers to any behaviour that enables someone to exert power and authority over another person. It comes in a variety of forms, all of which gradually erode the other person’s self-esteem.


This can happen in any type of relationship, including those between couples, friendships, family members, and coworkers. It can occur at any point in one’s life. Emotional abuse is more difficult to detect than other forms of abuse, which may lead to certain people misunderstanding, ignoring, or dismissing the signs.


Some signs of emotional abuse include:

  • Verbal abuse: yelling, insulting or swearing at you. 
  • Rejection: Always refusing your ideas, thoughts and opinions. 
  • Gaslighting: Always making you doubt yourself by manipulating the truth.


Unlike other types of abuse, emotional abuse leaves no scars or marks, making it difficult to detect. However, these behaviours can be incredibly detrimental to our mental health, and if not addressed, the pain can last indefinitely and have far-reaching negative effects.


Some people may be reluctant to use the term “emotional abuse” to describe how another person treats them. It’s crucial to note that any behaviour that makes you feel insecure, small, or unable to speak for yourself or seek help is abusive.


Sexual abuse


Sexual abuse can range from inappropriate touching or documenting to being forced to participate in a sexual encounter against one’s will. Many sexually abused victims will remember the abuser. They are quite often a relative, friend, or partner (past or present).


Anyone can be a victim of sexual abuse, and no one should be forced to do something they do not want to do.


As a result of the trauma, victims of sexual abuse can tend to change their behaviour. While everyone reacts differently, the effects of sexual abuse may include intense fear, panic attacks, low self-esteem, body pains, and depression.


Physical Abuse/Domestic Violence


Physical abuse, also known as physical violence, is the intentional infliction of bodily harm on another person. Domestic violence is a form of physical violence that occurs at home. Domestic violence happens when an abusive person, usually an older person, uses force to beat someone of weaker stature. Domestic violence, though physical, may have a negative impact on the abused person’s mental health because it causes them to live in fear of being beaten.


Domestic violence (or domestic abuse) can include physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse. It usually happens to someone close to you, either in a couple of relationships or in a family setting. This can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or social background.


Any act of physical violence, harassment, or aggression between two people who are or have been in a relationship is referred to as domestic violence. It also extends to family members regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Abuse may take the form of psychological, sexual, mental, physical, or financial abuse. Its aim is to keep one person in power and control over another.


Even if you are not a victim of family violence at home, witnessing your loved one being physically assaulted can be gruelling. This, in turn, contribute significantly to child abuse.


Getting help


It may be difficult to reach out for help when one is the victim of family and sexual violence, especially someone who is close to them in relations. If you have been a victim of abuse or know anyone who has, you can reach out to us at Nuffield Wellness. All sessions conducted are highly confidential. Speak to our counsellor, Ms Zahira and book an appointment today.

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