Being abused is something that no person would ever want to experience in their life. It is something that they most fear about. Abuse can be traumatising and it can make permanent damages to a person’s personal and social life. It can be a miserable and debilitating experience. Being abused by another person can be the most harrowing event that can happen to anyone – a child, a woman, a man, an elderly, and so on. There’s no wonder that some victims of abuse choose to end their life than to endure the pain and misery.
Statistics of Abuse in the World
On the population report made by Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, it was said that across the globe, one in every three women has been beaten, abused, and coerced to make sexual intercourse with another. Some of them have been abused in their lifetime. In domestic violence, majority of the abuses happen insider their own homes.
In the UK, nearly one million of women experience one incidence of abuse in a span of one year. This is according the British Crime Survey, year 2009-2010. On another report made by the Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence, Supplementary Volume 2 to Crime in England and Wales – 19% of women have experienced stalking at the age of 16.
When is a person abused?
When someone maltreats another or when someone forces another to do something which is against his or her will, we can say that a person is being abused. Abusers find it pleasurable to see their victims suffer. They want to control and manipulate their victims. They have different ways on inflicting pain and compelling their victims to do what they want. The pain referred here is not inclusive of physical pain. The suffering may be in form of verbal abuse, intimidation, bullying, coercion, harassment, etc.
But even though they don’t directly inflict pain on the victim, people may abuse another in a form of neglect of love, affection, or responsibilities that may cause someone to take injurious action against their own selves.
More often than not, people tend to associate abuse and domestic violence with women. But today, there are growing cases of violence against men. In fact, it has been reported by BBC UK that in the past five years, the number of women who has been convicted of domestic violence has doubled.
What are the types of abuse?
Abuse can take many forms. Some of the most common are physical abuse, emotional, and sexual abuse.
The mortality rate due to physical abuse is increasing all over the world. Physical abuse includes slapping, punching, cutting, burning, and doing hurtful acts against a person. Usually, this type of abuse happens between individuals who have close relationship such as husband and wife, parent and child, and between partners. There are many reasons why a person physically abuses another. And the use of drugs and alcoholism are also triggering factors of physical abuse. When the abuser is intoxicated, he or she tends to do things that are beyond rationality. In the March 2011 report of the Women’s Aid in England, two women die each week as a result of physical abuse of their partner or ex-partner.
Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse is very hard to determine as there are no physical traces of the maltreatment. There are no scars or any marks that will show that the victim has been abused. While arguments and conflicts are natural ways of interacting with someone, emotional abuse can be more severe. It is characterised by degrading feelings brought about by one’s disrespect manipulation of another. A person can be emotionally abused through cursing, throwing harsh and insulting words, and showing gestures that are debilitating and offensive. Emotional abuse is very common between partners.
Women are the usual subjects of sexual abuse. But men are not an exception. According to the United Nations, there are 250,000 cases of female-male rape as well as attempted rape that happen across the world (the data include 65 countries). In England and Wales, the number of people convicted of rape in children has increased by 60% in the past six years, as reported by the Ministry of Justice. Sexual abuse doesn’t just mean having sexual intercourse with someone by instilling due force. Sexual abuse can also be in form of sexual assault, harassment, acts of lasciviousness, inducement to commit prostitution, giving the victim pornographic materials, saying obscene words against a person, and other similar acts.
Domestic violence is any form of abuse – physical, emotional, or sexual abuse that happens to an individual wherein the abuser has some sort of personal relationship with him or her. The relationship doesn’t always have to be in existence at the time of the abuse. For instance, an ex-husband may still be accused of committing domestic violence against his former wife.
It is more devastating to see children who are victims of perversion and other prostitution. According to NSPCC, 72% of children who have been sexually abused did not tell anyone that they have been abused; 27% of them confide at a later time; and 31% of these children did not tell anybody about their experience until they have become adults.
Causes of Abuse
There are many causes of abuse. Abusive relationships can be cause by jealousy, hatred, envy, insecurities, and so on. But they all boil down to the want of controlling someone else. Barterers or abusers instil force against their victims in the belief that they are entitled with dominance over that person. They want to assure themselves that between them and their victims, they are the ones who should be the one to be followed. When their victims don’t do just what they say, they inflict pain and terror to them.
Victims of abuse go through a very difficult phase in their life. Aside from the physical pain, they also need to recover from the trauma caused by the abuse they have gone through. Treatments for abuse vary but the most common are psychotherapy, counselling, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), and hypnotherapy. These treatments are all designed to help victims get over the emotional and psychological injury that they have experienced in the hands of their abusers.
On psychotherapy for example, the patient goes through a series of activities which include counselling, designed by a professional psychiatrist that will help him or her live a normal life.
On hypnotherapy, the patient tries to remove the bad thoughts and traumatic scenarios of their experiences by replacing them with positive thoughts through suggestions.
CBT on the other hand lies on the principle that if people change their outlook in life, they can liver happier. This treatment is also aimed to strengthen the emotional health of the victim and live life the way they should.