Dealing with abuse from someone you know
Cruelty, bullying and violence aren’t just things you experience from a stranger. In fact, most of the time, abuse is inflicted by someone you know and maybe even love. This makes it even harder to identify and deal with. That doesn’t mean it’s something you must accept.
What is abuse?
Often abuse isn’t something that stares you in the face and identifies itself. It starts slowly, which makes you question whether it’s even happening at all. But over time, teasing becomes yelling, ignoring becomes neglect, jealousy becomes aggression, pushing and shoving becomes hitting, hurting and sexual abuse.
And sometimes physical abuse is disguised as love. An uncle or father creeping into your bed at night, a boyfriend forcing himself on you, your brother slapping you in an argument. Just because you know this person, are related to them or have let them touch you before does not make it right.
Abuse is a pattern of behavior that inflicts harm on another, whether emotional or physical. Abusers usually have to resort this kind of behaviour because it gives them control. When drugs or alcohol are involved it can make it worse and end with apologies and ‘promises that ‘it will never happen again’.
Choma’s if someone is hurting you in any way, you need to get help.
How to get help:
The first step is to tell someone you know and trust about what’s going on. It might be hard for you say it out loud. And it might be hard for them to hear it. In some case, they may not want to believe you. Mothers don’t want to know their child is being abused by their father. But that doesn’t mean you let it go. Find someone who believes you and supports you.
The second step is to remove yourself from the situation. This might mean moving in with another family member or friend, or even to a shelter for abused women.
Here are some contact details of organisations that can help you:
www.LifeLine.org.za / 011 715-2000
www.StopWomenAbuseHelpline.co.za / 0800 150 150 (toll free)
www.POWA.co.za / 011 642 4345/6
www.RapeCrisis.org.za / 021 447 9762 (Observatory); 021 633 9229 (Athlone); 021 361 9085 (Khayelitsha)
Chomas nobody has the right to hurt you. Not even someone you love. Protect yourself and get help.
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