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Western Counsellor

Caring guidance, empathic and non-judgemental approach

Survivors of Abuse

There are many types of abuse:

Sexual Abuse refers to a situation in which one person uses power or authority over another to involve that person in sexual activity.

Physical Abuse is defined by the Department of Health as involving hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or care giver feigns the symptoms of, or deliberately causes ill-health to a child.

Emotional Abuse is the persistent emotional ill-treatment of a child which causes severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. For example, persistently conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate or valued only because they meet the needs of another person, for example a child frequently feeling frightened or being corrupted or exploited.

Neglect is defined as the persistent failure to meet a child's physical and/or psychological needs which is likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development. For example a parent or care giver who does not provide adequate feed, shelter and clothing, failing to protect a child from physical harm or danger or failing to ensure access to adequate medical care or treatment or not responding to a child's emotional needs.

Psychological Abuse is often linked to emotional abuse. Psychological Abuse can be defined separately as 'sustained, repetitive. inappropriate behaviour which damages or substantially reduces the creative and development potential of crucially important mental facilities and mental processes of a child, for example, intelligence, memory, recognition, perception, attention, language and moral development.

Elder Abuse may involve physical violence, threats, sexual abuse , neglect such as locking an elderly person in a room, refusal to provide meals, clothing, emotional support and abandonment.

Survivors of abuse are impacted in many ways and some of the most common effects are:

  • low self esteem
  • relationship difficulties
  • anger issues
  • poor employability
  • high health risks
  • fear of closeness
  • unable to trust others readily
  • feelings of unworthiness
  • disturbed sense of reality
  • post traumatic stress disorder
  • anxiety
  • depression

Counselling can help you to understand what happened, why it happened, how to reduce and accept the impact it has had on you and help you to move forwards with your life.