Abuse is an action that causes significant harm to someone else. It can be very difficult to talk about but you’re never alone. Abuse can leave you feeling very confused, it may be that the abuse is being committed by someone who you are close to or that you love- this could be an adult in your life or by someone you are in a relationship with.

There are different types of abuse that people may experience:

  • Physical: includes hitting, punching and pushing.  
  • Mental: being treated badly, such as consistently being ignored
  • Verbal: saying or shouting or writing horrible things
  • Neglect: not being looked after and kept healthy
  • Sexual abuse: touched where you shouldn’t be or forced to take part in sexual activity

Trauma is negative events that are very emotionally painful and that overwhelm someone’s ability to cope. This could be experiencing abuse but could also be many other things including being a victim of a crime and suffering a significant injury.

Sometimes to cope with the difficult feelings linked to suffering abuse or trauma people will engage in dangerous or unhealthy behaviours such as drinking alcohol, taking drugs or criminal activity. 

Key Point

When asking an adult for help

  • choose someone you feel safe with
  • plan what you want to say
  • make sure it’s a good time to talk and that they aren't distracted 
  • you have control over how much you tell someone - you don’t have to say everything if you don’t want to
  • if you’re not sure if they'll keep what you have said to themselves, you can ask them before you say anything.

Other places that can help

If you’re worried about abuse, find out what it is and who can help you:

Contacting Childline

Helplines - Contact Information 

Suicide Bereavement Support