Hope for Disabilities

Fulfilling unmet needs in the disability community

Different Kinds of Abuse and the Impact They Have

Posted by Emily Jensen on February 28, 2016 at 9:20 AM

When people hear the word, "abuse", they often times think about physical abuse between couples either married or dating.  Sadly, physical abuse is not the only form of abuse.  There are many other forms like mental abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, elder abuse, and even financial abuse.

Emotional abuse and verbal abuse, often times go hand in hand.  If someone is yelling at someone else on a regular basis, this is considered verbal abuse.  This could happen between a parent and a child, boyfriend and girlfriend, husband and wife, and sometimes even between a employer and an employee.  If a parent is upset with their child for one reason or another, the parent might yell at their child for whatever the parent feels that they have done wrong.  Depending on the tone and the length of the yelling, it could be considered abusive.  For example lets say that a child spilled their milk at the dinner table.  The parent has the choice of calmly cleaning it up and telling their child to be more careful next time, or get right in the child's face yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs at how careless their child was and make a whole big scene out of the event to where the child is now crying hysterically and terrified of what is going to happen next.  This could not only be considered verbal abuse, but also emotional abuse, because the child may feel really stupid for doing whatever they were doing that caused the milk to accidentally spill at the dinner table.

The same can be said between a boyfriend and girlfriend or a husband and wife.  Lets say that a boyfriend or a husband has been gone all day at work and comes home expecting dinner to be on the table the minute that they walk in the door, but they don't know that something has happened in their wife or girlfriend's day that delayed her from getting home in time herself to start cooking the meal early enough to have it ready for her boyfriend or husband and he is now furious with her because he is exhausted and wanted to eat a hot dinner before going to be to get a good night's rest just to do it all over again the next day.  This is emotional abuse and could also be considered verbal abuse and could even lead to physical abuse depending on the circumstances. 


Sexual abuse, unfortunately can happen in a variety of scenario's.  If an adult has been a victim themselves of sexual abuse, any children left in their care unsupervised run the risk of becoming victims unless the adult has received extensive counseling and has proven over a period of time that they are no longer a risk to children.  This can happen between family members and even babysitter's who have been entrusted to watch other people's children.  Sexual abuse, can also happen between boyfriend and girlfriend and husband and wife.  Is someone is not getting what they want out of the relationship, they might demand sexual favors from the other party.  This unfortunately in most cases takes us right back to emotional abuse.  Someone might withhold sex from their significant other to get the other person to do what they want them to do and will not be intimate with them until they comply.  This could really mess with someone's head and emotions because they want or need something, but don't want to be intimate with the person and this could make them feel really bad about themselves.

Elder abuse, can be a combination of the other forms of abuse, but to an elderly person.  Elder abuse is very similar to child abuse because as a person becomes elderly, they often times start to experience memory loss, so people might take advantage of that knowledge and abuse them to get things from them because the elderly person might not realize that they are being taken advantage of.  

Financial Abuse, is where one person withholds money that they are entitled too, from another person, so that they can't be responsible and financially independent.  Unfortunately, this form of abuse is often times seen between married couples, adult children and their elderly parents, an even adults with disabilities who's parents feel they are not responsible enough to handle their own money, so the parents hold onto their money and only give them what they feel their child needs even if the child wants or feels they need more.  An example of this might be an adult with a disability living on their own, but they need a little help from time to time, but their parents or the person responsible to oversee their finances disagree's with how the money is being spent and uses that to control the person.  Lets say that an adult with a disability wants to buy something they like, but they don't need it and they could live without it, but the person responsible for their finances feels that it is a waste of their money and says that they are making a mistake and that they will not give you YOUR money to buy what YOU want and you get upset because you feel that you should be able to do what you want with your money.  It is a life lesson that some people need to learn the hard way and that is something that is very difficult for parents to accept and to come to terms with because they feel that they know what is best for their child and that their child is just making a mistake.  Sometimes the parent needs to let go and let their child learn from their mistakes because they are adults and they have to learn sometime even if it is through making mistakes.

Categories: Disabilities and Special Needs, Marriage Issues , Children Services

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