Abuse Abuse means to cause intentional and repeated pain to another.

There are many different types of abuse. Abuse could be when one adult hurts or bullies another adult in a relationship. This is called domestic violence (DV).

If an adult hurts a young person or a child it is called child abuse and can also happen between brothers and sisters.

Abuse can be sexual such as touching your private body parts or making you touch someone else’s private parts or forcing you to have sex.

Child abuse can be physical such as hitting, slapping, kicking, punching or pinching.

Child abuse can also be emotional such as bullying, calling you names, making you feel bad a lot of the time or hurting or breaking the things you love.

Abuse can be neglect where you are not given the things you need like food, clothing or adequate care, not talking to you or ignoring you.

What do I do?

The first thing to know is that it is not your fault.

If any of the above is happening to you it is really important to get help. Whoever is hurting you may have told you not to tell anyone but this is so that they will not get into trouble. If they are doing something to hurt you and they make you feel like it is your fault it is not. Do not keep it a secret even if the person harming you says that something awful will happen if you tell.

No one has the right to hurt you or anyone you know – it’s against the law.

It’s not your fault. It’s normal to feel ashamed, guilty, upset or even angry about what is happening to you. These are feelings you feel because of what someone is doing to you. You are not responsible for the bad things someone else does or makes you do.

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