The Many Faces of Abuse
When we hear the word ‘abuse’, we usually think of a person who is being subjected to physical harm when in fact, there are many, many forms of abuse – some of which are self-inflicted. Anyone can be abused and anyone can be an abuser. Abuse knows no skin color, no religion, no income brackets or no age. Some people may not even realize they are being abused or that they are the ones doing the abusing. It has become a way of life for them – it’s all they know. Abuse is prevalent in families and marriages, but it can also happen outside this realm as well. A person doesn’t have to be related to you to be an abuser. Teachers, preachers, employers, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends and even best friends can all be abusers.
We are here to tell you that abuse, in any form, is not acceptable, that you don’t have to tolerate it and that you don’t have to suffer in silence any longer. We are here to help. First, we would like to outline some common forms of abuse so that you can recognize them.
- Verbal abuse – includes name-calling, shouting, constantly interrupting, telling other people you are crazy, blaming you for the abuse, etc.
- Emotional abuse – includes threats, isolation, manipulation, insults, and destruction of property, public humiliation, accusations of affairs, threats of suicide, self-injury, or homicide if you leave, threats, insults, constant monitoring, humiliation, intimidation or isolation
- Financial abuse – included controlling all income, not letting you work or keep a job, making you ask for money, giving an allowance, taking your money, or running up
- Sexual abuse – can include forced or coerced sex with your partner, another person, or an object.
- Physical abuse – includes any forceful behavior such as hitting, choking, slapping, using weapons, driving recklessly, holding you down, and preventing you from leaving.
- Spiritual abuse – can occur when a leader uses his or her spiritual position to influence or dictate another person. Most often it involves overruling the feelings and thoughts of another, without respect to the outcome in the other person’s state of living, emotions.
- Spiritual attack – includes casting spells, curses, psychic attack to a person and other forms of demonic acts.
- Digital abuse – new technologies such as social networking, texting are now widely used to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner which is mostly in the form of verbal or emotional abuse.
- Bullying – is when someone or a group of people with more influence continually and purposefully causes hurt or harm to another person or group of people who feel powerless to respond.
- Stalking –is the process of being repeatedly watched, followed or harassed by someone or a group of people.
There are other types of abuse that are self-inflicted. Sometimes these are referred to as addictions. Even though addictions seem to be self-inflicted and benign to anyone other than the addicted person, this is rarely the case. An addiction creates a ripple effect much like tossing a pebble into a pond. It starts small at the point of impact, but the effects reach far and wide. Some examples of other types of abuse and addictions are:
- Illegal drug abuse
- Prescription drug abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Internet addiction
- Pornography addiction
- Work addiction
- Video game addiction
If left unchecked, all of these things can destroy not only the person who is abusing or addicted, but also their children, their spouses, their friends and entire families.
If you or someone you love is being abused or is participating in the abusing, you need to stop the cycle now. The longer it is allowed to continue, the more damage it can do. You may feel powerless to stop your abuser or the abusing, but through our Scripture-based counseling and prayer, we can help you take the power back and get to a place of happiness and harmony in your life. Contact our office today so that we can discuss your counseling options with you and give you the tools you need to get your life back on the right track.