What is abuse?

Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional or verbal; it is intimidation or manipulation of another person; it is a violation of trust. Abuse is a systematic pattern of behaviours in a relationship that are used to gain and/or maintain power and control over another.

Abuse cuts across all social categories and classes. It occurs in well educated high income areas and in low income working class areas; it happens in all races and religions. It can occur in families, extended families, in neighbourhoods, schools, churches, and community groups. Both men and women can be abusive and it can occur in virtually all age groups. The old can abuse the young and the young the old. While standards are different in various cultures, it occurs in virtually all countries as well.

Someone is abusing you when they:

> hit, slap, or push you
> don’t give you food, medicine, or the care you need to keep well
> take or control your money, your house, or your possessions
> threaten or hurt you; or threaten to not take care of you > don’t let you see your family or friends
> call you names or make you feel badly about yourself

Who Abuses?

You may be abused by:

> a member of your family
> a friend
> someone you have paid to take care of you
It is hard when someone close to you is treating you badly. You may still love that person:

> you may feel confused
> you may feel sad
> you may feel it is your fault
> you may feel afraid
> you may feel betrayed
> you may feel angry

Abuse is not your fault.

It is hard to talk about it, but talking helps. There is no need for you to be hurt. Letting the abuse continue does not help you or your loved one.

You will not lose control over your life if you talk about it.

Nothing will happen unless you want it to. There are choices. The first step is to talk about it.

What can you do?

> Tell the abuser to stop; tell them if you are scared or hurt
> Tell someone you trust
> Keep telling until someone helps
> Call to find out what you can do
> Let someone help you make decisions

If you are not ready to change things yet:

> Call someone when you just need to talk or get advice.
> If needed, keep emergency numbers with you at all times.
> Think about what you will do the next time it happens.
> Keep in touch with someone who can help you find out what to do or ask them to call you.

 Visit:  Algoma Family Services


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