People don’t always recognize abuse. You might that think the behavior is “normal” or not serious enough to be considered abuse. Therefore, the first step in stopping abuse is to know when it’s actually occurring. Let’s take a look at what abuse looks like according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway and www.teenrelationships.org
- Hitting, kicking, pushing, biting, throwing, choking, beating, punching or otherwise inflicting pain or injury onto someone else is abuse.
- Abuse sometimes consists of the use of a weapon or someone threatening to use a weapon.
- Stalking is abuse.
- ANY unwanted sexual contact is sexual abuse.
- Sexual abuse also includes unwanted sexual attention, also known as sexual harassment.
- Coercion can also be considered sexual abuse. Victims are often told things like, “If you loved me, you would…” If he loved you he wouldn’t try to make you do anything against your will.
- Emotional abuse consists of insults, put downs, and/or verbal humiliation.
- Threatening to spread rumors or humiliate you to control you or weaken your confidence is another indicator of emotional abuse (i.e. If you leave me, I’ll tell that you….)
- Blaming you for any abuse is emotional abuse. You’re NEVER to blame!
- Withholding food, medical necessities, clothing or shelter by a caretaker.
- Lack of supervision and inattention to emotional needs.
- Failure to provide adequate education. You deserve the basic necessities of life and SO MUCH MORE!
Abuse is NEVER acceptable. God loves His children and “your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:19.) God doesn’t want your temple mistreated and abused!