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Thoughts on Abuse and Neglect

Abuse can occur in a variety of ways.  While the most commonly recognized is physical or sexual abuse, abuse may also involve other aspects.  Abuse can also be emotional-psychological, economic, spiritual, or involve destruction of property or pets.[1] More damaging than abuse is physical or emotional neglect.[2] However neglect and abuse occur, they involve disrespecting an individual rather than valuing them.   The abuser uses their victim for their own personal gain and sense of personal power.  The unfortunate consequence of abuse is that it can gradually chip away at a person’s self confidence and sense of who they are as an individual.  Neglected and abused individuals may have trouble thinking for themselves, speaking up for themselves, and valuing themselves.  Abused individuals may feel depressed, extremely anxious, have sleep problems, trouble concentrating, and/or trouble eating. A victim of abuse may feel like a prisoner in their own home, may blame themselves for the abuse they experience, and may have lost a sense of their identity. Eventually a victim of abuse may lash out in anger at the abuser or desperately seek to flee.  With counselling, the neglected and abused may rediscover their personal identity and move on to be able to assert who they really are and what they desire. 

[1] Dale Trimble©2001
[2]P.G. Ney ©1997