You Are At: AllSands Home > Kids > Child abuse prevention
Abuse can take many forms, physical, sexual, and mental, and all are difficult to understand and overcome. Over the years, many definitions for abuse have evolved. Webster's New World dictionary has many definitions but the one that defines it most accurately is "to use wrongly; misuse." That means that anything that causes harm to another is abuse and I have to agree. There are many that would disagree, saying some discipline is needed, which is understandable; just be sure that the disciplinary action isn't excessive in relation to the misdeed.

As a victim of abuse, many past, present, and future reactions of victims are directly related to the abuse they received. Many hate to be yelled at, flinch at sudden sounds or movements, have trouble sleeping (minor insomnia), and hate control of any kind. Also, many children grow up rebellious and angry as a direct result of the abuse received. Depending on the situation, some adults continue the pattern throughout their lives by beating spouses and children, while others rise above it if they receive help.

Abuse can wreak havoc upon a person's social behavior, making the victim feel isolated and afraid, making it difficult to keep and maintain friendships. Intimate relationships are also difficult, especially for sexual abuse victims. Sexual abuse can create feelings of inadequacy (as with any abuse but also on an intimate level), fear, hatred of physical contact, and many of the above mentioned feelings. There are many ways for victims to overcome abuse.

It's not YOUR fault!

The first step is to realize that you did nothing to deserve abuse of any kind. Many abusers use manipulation to and control to make the victim believe they deserve such treatment. That's extremely traumatizing and damages self-esteem. It also introduces self-doubt. "What if it's true? What will people think?" The thing to realize is that the abuser is using you as a way of release and/or the person enjoys causing pain. In other words, the person needs help, especially the more severe the abuse is.

Talk About It

Don't be afraid to get help, psychiatric help if needed. Spending a few weeks or even years can help pinpoint reasons behind certain reactions and assist with controlling them once they are identified. Therapy will give you the strength to go on and lead a productive life free from guilt.

DON'T Continue the Pattern

If you were a victim of abuse and find yourself hitting walls, losing your temper and screaming at your children and/or spouse for little or no reason, or worse, hit anyone, get help. Abuse of any kind is never okay and you will definitely feel better if you get help.

It Takes Time

Realize that these things always take time. Many abuse victims are in counseling for years to recover from the damage suffered.