What is abuse?

  • There are several different types of abuse and all of them tend to be traumatic and have long-term consequences for victims.

  • Certain people may be more vulnerable to becoming victims of abuse because they lack access to resources or they experience discrimination, or because it is difficult for them to report what is happening. Many abuse victims worry they won't be believed if they do report the abuse. In a lot of cases, it can be very dangerous to try to leave an abusive situation on your own. 

  • Emotional, verbal, or psychological abuse can involve attacking someone with words, threats, insults, intimidation, or humiliation. Even though the victim may not be physically harmed, this type of abuse can be very traumatic. 

  • Physical abuse refers to physically harming someone on purpose. 

  • Sexual abuse can be any sexual activity that happens without consent.

  • Financial abuse involves financially exploiting someone or controlling/limiting their access to their money or assets. This can keep the victim trapped or dependent on their abuser. 

  • Narcissistic abuse refers to abuse inflicted by a narcissist, a person who believes they are more important than others and lacks the ability to care about other people. This type of abuse often involves lying, gaslighting (manipulating someone into disbelieving their own sense of reality), humiliation, threats, and criticism. 

  • Recognizing that you are in an abusive situation and separating yourself from your abuser can be especially difficult if the person abusing you sometimes acts kind and caring. You might unintentionally develop what is called a trauma bond, where you feel an emotional bond with your abuser. Being in an abusive situation for a long time can lead to anxietydepression, shamelow self-esteem, and PTSD. It is not uncommon for abuse victims to engage in a lot of dissociation

  • Being abused in childhood can make you especially vulnerable to being re-victimized later on in life. If abuse was a regular occurrence for you, it probably seemed somewhat normal, so when you encounter abusive behaviour in adulthood, that can seem normal too. Many victims of childhood abuse also develop a lot of shame and may believe that they deserve to be treated poorly by others. Abuse by a caregiver can also lead to attachment issues, making it difficult for form healthy relationships with other people. 

  • Recovering from abuse can be a long journey and having a trauma-informed therapist to talk to can be very helpful. 


More information about abuse:





If you are struggling with experiences of abuse, please reach out to book a free consultation. 

If you are being abused and are in an emergency situation, please call 911. You can find additional resources here