Abuse is an extremely difficult thing to open up about. It often raises a multitude of emotions, from pain and anger to guilt and shame. If you feel ready to begin talking about your experiences, my abuse counselling service can offer you the space you need to share your story. Abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour. But it isn’t just physical violence, it includes emotional, sexual, financial abuse.
Abusive behaviour can occur in any relationship. It can continue after the relationship has ended. Both men and women can be abused or be abusers. Domestic abuse can seriously harm anyone, it can hurt children and young people. Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers often suffer from domestic abuse in their relationships.
Domestic abuse can include:
- Sexual abuse and rape
- Punching, kicking, cutting, hitting with an object
- Withholding money or preventing someone from earning money
- Taking control over aspects of someone’s everyday life, which can include where they go and what they wear
- Not letting someone leave the house
- Reading emails, text messages or letters
- Threatening to kill or harm them, a partner, another family member or a pet
Physical abuse involves violent acts, these include: Scratching, biting, pushing, slapping, kicking, strangling, throwing things, force-feeding, denying you food, using weapons or objects that could hurt you, physically restraining you, reckless driving and any other act that could potentially hurt or threaten you.
Many times, they will try to turn what they did on to you. They could blame you, saying that you caused them to act that way, or they could say it was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or feeling stressed or frustrated. They could tell you they’re sorry constantly, they could beg for forgiveness and promise you they’ll never do it again.
It could be that they’re sexually abusing you, having sex without consent is rape and that classes as a form of sexual abuse.
What is emotional abuse?
Emotional abuse is something that can be extremely upsetting, damaging and mentally draining. There are many types of behaviour that could be classed as emotional abuse. It could mean that there is a lot of intimidation or threat, this could be anything from shouting, acting aggressively, which could make you feel scared. This is often done as a way of making a person feel small and stopping them from standing up for themselves.
Being made to feel guilty, this can range from outright emotional blackmail. to sulking all the time or giving you the silent treatment as a way of manipulating you. Economic abuse, this can be withholding money, not involving you in finances or even preventing you from getting a job. This could be done as a way of stopping you from feeling independent and that you’re able to make your own choices.
Telling you what you can and can’t do, this could be telling you where you can and can’t go out, or even stopping you seeing certain people and even controlling how you dress or how you style your hair.
What financial abuse looks like can vary which make it difficult to identify and detect.
Types of financial abuse:
- Borrowing money and not giving it back
- Stealing money or belongings
- Taking pension payments or other benefit away from someone
- Taking money as payment for coming to visit or spending time together
- Forcing someone to sell their home or assets without consent
- Tricking someone into bad investments
- Forcing someone to make changes in wills, property or inheritance
How do you know if its abuse?
Sometimes, people wonder whether ‘abuse’ is the right term to describe any relationship difficulties they’re going through. Quite often, couples argue or they make jokes with one and other. But you know when it’s going too far, when them jokes turn into hateful comments and make you feel worthless and when the arguments become more violent.
But the point about whether the behaviour is abusive, is how it makes you feel. If your partner’s behaviour makes you feel small, controlled or as if you’re unable to talk about what’s wrong, it’s abusive. If you feel like your partner is stopping you from being able to express yourself, it’s abusive. If you feel like you have to change the way you act to accommodate your partner’s behaviour, it’s abusive.
As hard as it is, to even come to terms with the fact you’re being abused. It is never an excuse for them to act in that way, so whether it’s on purpose or not, it’s not ok. If you feel like you’re being subjected to abusive behaviour, remember you deserve to have a voice, and you don’t deserve to be made to feel scared or small.
What to expect
Our first session will be a chance for you to decide whether I’m the right person for you to talk to. I understand the feelings that arise from starting to confide in someone, so it’s essential that you feel completely comfortable and safe with me. If you decide to continue with sessions, I’ll provide a space for you to explore your experiences and emotions at your own pace, with no pressure or judgement.
Helping you to grow and take your power back and put back it into a survivor instead of a victim, the more help you get the stronger you’ll get.
How can counselling for abuse help?
Therapy is a way to process traumatic or distressing events in safety and confidence. It can help you work through painful memories, deal with nightmares or flashbacks, and recover your self-esteem. By attending a series of sessions you can begin to understand your situation, responses and triggers, and to move forward in a positive way.
You don’t have to wait for an emergency situation to seek help, if domestic abuse is happening to you, or any of the types of domestic abuse mentioned above, it’s important to tell someone and remember you’re not alone!
- Talk to your doctor, health visitor or midwife
- Women can call 0808 2000 247, the free 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge
- Men can call the Men’s Advice Line free on 0808 801 0327 (Monday-Friday 9am till 5pm) or ManKind on 01823 334 244
- In an emergency, call 999
If the time is right, don’t forget your GP, helplines, therapy, support groups are always out there to support you and give you the advice you need. If you prefer to speak to your family or friends, then do so, anyone that speaks out is brave.
Here are a list of sexual abuse helplines.
The information that you choose to share with me will, wherever possible, be kept in the strictest confidence. If, however, I am required to disclose certain details to a court of law, or I believe you are at risk of harm, I have a duty to report this.
To learn more about what counselling for abuse entails, or to arrange some time to talk, contact me on 07510 495791 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’re not alone! If you or someone you care about is a victim of any type of abuse, seek help and put an end to it, because no one deserves to go through that torture.