Abuse and self harm
Abuse is defined as bringing harm to a person that occurs immediately or
through accumulated effects over a period of time. There are four basic
categories of abuse.
caused by withholding life's necessities. The ability to provide
necessities but failing to do so is the factor separating neglect from
the effects of poverty.
caused through devaluation. Examples include name-calling and
threatening harm or injury.
caused by bodily injury.
Harm caused by any sexual activity between a young person and an adult,
or between people when there is an unequal distribution of power. This
includes exposing a person to sexual acts or pornography, regardless of
their direct participation.
If you have been abused, you are not alone.
By age 18, one of every four girls and one of every six boys has been
sexually abused; approximately 17% for child sexual abuse of males
involving physical contact, and over 25% when non-contact forms of abuse
were included. Emotionally abused or neglected children may not recover
from this abuse until they reach adulthood, and even then some may not
recover even partially, or completely.
Abuse and Self-Harm
There is a significant relationship between childhood sexual/mental
abuse and various forms of self-harm later in life, i.e. suicide
attempts, cutting, and self-starving. For adults and adolescents with
childhood abuse histories, the risk of suicide increases 4- to 12-fold.
Self-harm is on the rise, as is child abuse, and those who go forward to
participate in studies show that abuse causes eating disorders, mostly
anorexia and bulimia, in women and men, and that self-harm is a huge
factor as a direct result of abuse. Most self-injurers have a history of
childhood physical or sexual abuse. 40% of persons who self-injure are
men. Maltreatment has been associated with distorted or extremely
negative self-images starting in childhood and continuing throughout
one’s life. Maltreated people typically view themselves as bad,
worthless or unlove-able and are four times more likely to develop
self-destructive behaviours such as self-mutilation or burning than
those who have not been maltreated.
A list of websites and organisations can be found within our directory