Different Types of Abuse and Effects


What is Abuse 

Different types of abuse

Different types of abuse

Abuse is a form of exploitation and mistreatment by one person that causes harm and trauma to the victim. If you ever witness a situation where a person is being abused or victimised, you should call the police. ASCA North East can help greatly in helping the victim get back on the route to recovery.  


Signs and symptoms of abuse

Listed below are the signs and symptoms of abuse:


Physical Abuse

  • rope marks, bruises, welts, black eyes, and lacerations

  • broken bones

  • punctures, open wounds, untreated injuries, and cuts on the body

  • broken frames/eyeglasses, or any such physical signs of being restrained or punished 

  • laboratory results of either under dose medications or an overdose

  • individual's report being mistreated, hit, kicked, or slapped

  • caregiver's refusal to permit visitors to see the vulnerable adult alone

  • vulnerable adult's abrupt change in behaviour



Sexual Abuse

  • bruises around genital area or the breasts 

  • unexplained genital infections or venereal disease 

  • unexplained anal or vaginal bleeding

  • stained, torn, or bloody underclothing

  • a person's report of being raped or sexually assaulted 


Different Types of Abuse 

It is important that you become aware of the different types of abuse that can take place. Knowing so, you will be better prepared in recognising the types of behaviour as abusive. When you are able to understand that you are being abused, only then you will begin to take the necessary steps and actions.

Here are six Different types of abuses, unfortunately, most commonly seen today.


1.    Verbal Abuse 

This abuse occurs when one individual uses body language and words to inappropriately criticise and censor another individual. Verbal abuse mostly involves name-calls and 'putdowns' to make the other person feel as if they aren’t worthy of respect or love. They feel worthless and useless, that they have no talent or ability. That they cannot do anything right. When a person starts to think in such a way, they lose all confidence in themselves. This adversely affects their schoolwork, their social life, their work life, their entire life. Verbal abuse is still abuse. If you are being verbally abused by someone, do not be afraid to stand up for yourself. 


2.    Psychological Abuse

This type of abuse is also known as emotional abuse or mental abuse. It occurs when a person intimidates the victim because they are able to manipulate their sense of reality. For instance, psychological abuse may happen when a paedophile says to a child victim that the abuse is her fault because she was dressed provocatively and enticed the paedophile.


3.     Physical Abuse 

This type of abuse happens when an individual’s threats of physical pain or uses physical force to intimidate another individual. Physical abuse may consist of simple pushes or slaps, or it may even be as extreme as physical beating, kicking, punching, scratching, and hair pulling. In some cases, physical abuse is so severe that the victimised person require hospitalisation. In violent cases, the victimised person can even die from the wounds and injuries they sustained while being brutally abused. 

Regardless of the fact that the person sustained physical damage or not, physical abuse is abusive. It will still be considered as physical abuse if the person gives threats of physical violence to the victim and forces him or her to comply with the demands of the abuser.


4.    Sexual Abuse 

This type of abuse of adults or children includes any kind of undesirable sexual contact carried out by an abuser on a victim. Molestation, inappropriate touching, incest, and date or partner rape are all examples of sexual abuse. It will be considered sexual abuse if one partner forces a certain degree of sexual activity upon his or her partner without prior consent being given. 

Normally, sexual abuse is also tied to emotional abuse and physical abuse. For example, a paedophile child molester will threaten to harm his or her victim or someone the victim cares about, as a way to make that victim silent about the sexual assault. 

5.    Neglect

This type of abuse occurs when an individual fails to be responsible for providing the basic needs and necessities of the dependents the person is responsible for. Basic necessities include appropriate and adequate food, clothing, shelter, hygiene, and care or love. 

For instance, it will be considered as neglect when a working parent does not care and look after their child adequately. It will still be considered neglect when an unemployed parent is not able to offer their child the basic necessities despite giving their best efforts, however, the neglect is alleviated by the situations. Neglect can only take place to those who are dependent persons. Due to this reason, neglect most typically occurs with dependent elders or children who are not looked after or properly taken care of by their caregivers or families.


6.    Hate Crimes 

Unfortunately, we see this type of abuse commonly nowadays. This abuse involves sexual, verbal, emotional, physical abuse to one or a group of people based solely on certain elements and a characteristic such as their sexual affiliations, or religion, or their skin colour.


Effects of Child Abuse And Neglect

Signs & symptoms of abuse

Signs & symptoms of abuse

Mental and Psychological Effects 

  •     Withdrawn

  •     Persistent fear

  •     Low self-esteem

  •     Hyper-vigilant

  •     Experiences flashbacks

  •     Dissociation

  •     A difficulty with making and sustaining relationships

  •     Depression

  •     Anxiety

Behavioural Effects 

  •     Often Absent from school 

  •     Drug and Alcohol use

  •     Criminal activity

  •     Eating disorders

  •     Repeating school grades

  •     Self-harm

  •     Trouble sleeping

  •     Uncomfortable with encountering physical contact with others

Physical Effects

  •     Welts and Bruises  

  •     Cuts and Scrapes 

  •     Head trauma

  •     Burn marks

  •     Declining brain development

  •     Broken bones or Sprains

  •     Difficulty in sitting or walking 

  •     Torn, bloody, or stained clothing

  •     Itching or Pain in the genital area

  •     Bleeding or Bruises in and around the genital area

  •     Poor physical health

  •     Sexually transmitted diseases

  •     Poor hygiene


Statistics 2018/19 

  • Nationally, 50% of batterers who abuse and mistreat their partners are found to do the same with their children. 

  • In March 2018, there was an estimate of 2.0 million adults between the ages of 16 to 59 years who experienced domestic abuse in the previous year (695,000 men, 1.3 million women).

  • Worldwide, those men who saw domestic violence in their childhood are 3 to 4 times more likely to commit intimate partner violence as an adult.

  • In March 2018, the police recorded about 599,549 domestic abuse crimes. According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), in March 2018, there has been an estimated 1.3 million of women (7.9%) and 695,000 of men (4.2%) who experienced domestic violence in the previous year.

  • Most domestic violence cases are never reported to the police. 



Who are the abusers 

Those who abuse are found to come from all kinds of backgrounds, religions, and races. People who abuse are those who:

  • Fear of losing their control over others

  • Have stereotypical thinking about how people who are in a relationship must act

  • Keep to themselves

  • Have witnessed acts of violence between their parents

  • Have been abused as a child

  • Have poor relationships with family members or partners  

  • Act extremely possessive and jealous

  • Have a controlling behaviour

  • Have impracticable expectations of their relationships

  • Put the blame on others for uncontrollable events or their problems  

  • Act cruelly to children or animals

  • Are verbally abusive

  • Have abused previous partners

  • Intimidate to use violence

  • Do not take accountability for their actions

  • Use force in an argument

  • Have little self-esteem

  • Have a family history of drug abuse or alcohol 

  • Get involved in the relationship quickly


How Can Counselling Help  

With all of the different types of abuse that a person can fall victim to it is best to talk to a professional counsellor, someone who is trained in the signs and symptoms of abuse and who can offer the most appropriate support and advice. Our counsellors have over 15 years of experience in helping people to come to terms with the abuse they have suffered and can make a real difference in helping a survivor to move on.