Abusive Types of Behavior
Neglect is when a parent or guardian does not take care of your basic needs including food, home, clothes, and medical care. If you are hungry all the time, don’t have warm clothes in the winter or if your parent/guardian is using drugs or alcohol while watching you, you may be neglected.
Pushing you, pinching, hitting, biting, pulling hair or using a weapon against, you are examples of physical abuse. If a person does these things because they are trying to hurt you they are abusing you. Physical abuse can cause bruises, broken bones or even worse. Not all physical abuse leaves marks. In young infants shaking is a form of abuse and can cause Shaken baby syndrome which could lead to death.
It is never ok for someone to hurt you in this way. If you have been physically abused it’s important to find someone who can get you to a doctor and talk to you about what’s been happening.
Emotional or Verbal Abuse
Hitting or punching can leave physical marks but emotional abuse can also leave scars. Emotional or verbal abuse is when a person says something or does something that makes you feel bad about yourself, scares you or embarrasses you. Yelling at you, saying mean things to you or embarrassing you in front of others are examples of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is often hard for others to see because it doesn’t leave marks on the skin like physical abuse might. It can make you feel lonely and unloved and is hard to explain to other people. It’s important for you to talk to someone you trust who can help you understand what’s going on and tell you that it is not your fault.
There are other forms of abuse that happen when a person touches you, makes you touch them or says things that make you uncomfortable. Abusers who touch you where and when you don’t want can make you feel like you can’t tell them “No” or may even threaten you if you say no. You may feel very embarrassed about this or even guilty because you didn’t do anything to stop it. It is not your fault. Abusers are taking advantage of your feelings and it’s important to talk to someone you trust who can help you understand your feelings and stop it from happening again.
Bullying and Cyber Bullying
With the internet and online games or chat rooms bullying is no longer just at school. Bullying is when a person tries to scare you, often threatening to hit you or spread rumours about you. Bullying often will keep happening until you talk to someone you trust who can stop the bully. Bullies often have their own problems and need someone to talk to but are unable to deal with their feelings and take it out on other people instead.
Where can you go?
If you or someone you know has been hurt it’s important to tell someone you trust. Parents, elders, teachers, neighbours, police officers, and doctors can put you in contact with people who can help you. If you don’t feel like you can talk to anyone you know you can always get help by calling the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.