Living with Abuse

Living with Abuse

Frightening you, punching, kicking, slapping, choking, shaking, pushing, hitting, hair pulling, threatening you, family, friends or pets, sex or something sexual that you don't want , constant criticism, controlling your life, taking your money, not letting you see friends, saying you are useless, a slut, stupid, blaming you, spitting at you, terrifing you with their temper.

It's all Domestic Violence

If you grown up with violence at home, you might not realise that it's abuse or you might think that it is normal family life. It doesnt matter if you are a victim of abuse or you see or hear other family members being abused, nobody should have to live with or witness domestic violence.

It can also damage your self-esteem to watch a parent being threatened, attacked, accused or cursed at constantly. Many people feel guilty of not being able to help or too frightened to do anything about the abuse.

It's likely that if you live with domestic violence you will also become a victim, physically or through put downs, threats, being called useless or stupid or being forced to stay silent about the violence.

You might suffer from problems such as

  • Stress, panic attacks, anxiety, anger, fear and depression. This can lead to self-harming or suicidal thoughts.
  • You might feel guilty or think that you deserve the abuse, you are not worth anything or its your own fault. Abuse is NEVER deserved, no matter how bad you feel about yourself. It is the person hurting you who is in the wrong.
  • You might become withdrawn aand isolate yourself from friends or family or you might start causing problems in school and get into trouble regularly.
  • Nervousness and worry can cause physical illness such as headaches, eating disorders, feeling sick, not being able to sleep or bed-wetting.
  • If you live with domestic violence or suffer from any sort of abuse, help is available and it is possible to escape from the situation.
  • If you are in an abusive relationship or live with domestic violence then you need to get help and escape from the situation.
  • Tell someone you trust about the abuse and ask them to support you or go with you to the Gardai
  • If you cannot tell anyone that you know, you can speak confidentially with the Samaritans.
  • If the abuser is someone you know and love, it can be very difficult to speak out against what is happening. Remember that even if they are nice most of the time, abuse is illegal and should not have to be put up with.
  • Sometimes an abuser will threaten to harm you or someone you love if you tell anyone what is happening. They might say things like "I'll killl you if you say anything" "Nobody will believe you" "This is our secret" or "I'll hurt your brother if you say anything". These threats are a way of frightening you into silence. If you tell the Gardai, they can make sure that you and other family members are safe from harm.
  • If you do not tell someone about the abuse, it will probably continue.
  • If the abuser is living in your home, then you might need a temporary place to live in safety. There are refuges for victims of abuse and the Gardai will be able to help you. If you are under 18 you can get help from Social Services.
  • Telling someone you are being abused does not mean that you will be taken away from your family. Social Services will try to work out a situation that means you are safe from abuse but still with your family.
  • Even after the abuse has stopped, you might have emotional or self confidence problems. Visit a counsellor to help sort out your problems.

More links:

Who to ask for help?
Useful links for Young People