Neglect is difficult to identify and define. Neglect occurs when a child or teen doesn't have adequate food, housing, clothes, medical care, or supervision. Emotional neglect happens when a parent doesn't provide enough emotional support or deliberately and consistently pays very little or no attention to a child. This doesn't mean that a parent doesn't give a kid something he or she wants, like a new computer or a cell phone, but refers to more basic needs like food, shelter, and love. Family violence can affect anyone. It can happen in any kind of family. Sometimes parents abuse each other, which can be hard for a child to witness.
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Some parents abuse their kids by using physical or verbal cruelty as a way of discipline. Abuse doesn't just happen in families, of course. Bullying is a form of abusive behavior. Bullying someone through intimidation, threats, or humiliation can be just as abusive as beating someone up. People who bully others may have been abused themselves. This is also true of people who abuse someone they're dating. But being abused is no excuse for abusing someone else.
Abuse can also take the form of hate crimes directed at people just because of their race, religion, abilities, gender, or sexual orientation. It may sound strange, but people sometimes have trouble recognizing that they are being abused. Recognizing abuse may be especially difficult for someone who has lived with it for many years. A person might think that it's just the way things are and that there's nothing that can be done.
11 Reasons Why People in Abusive Relationships Can't "Just Leave"
People who are abused might mistakenly think that it's their fault for not doing what their parents tell them, breaking rules, or not living up to someone's expectations. Somebody who has only known an abusive relationship might mistakenly think that hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, or angry name-calling are perfectly normal ways to treat someone when you're mad.
Seeing parents treat each other in abusive ways might lead a child to think that's OK in relationships. But abuse is not a typical or healthy way to treat people. If you're not sure you are being abused, or if you suspect a friend is, it's always OK to ask a trusted adult or friend. If you're one of the thousands of people living in an abusive situation, it can help to understand why some people abuse — and to realize that the abuse is not your fault. But that's not true.
There is no single reason why people abuse others. But some factors seem to make it more likely that someone may lose control, yell, hit, or hurt. Others become abusive because they're not able to manage their feelings properly. For example, someone who is unable to control anger or can't cope with stressful personal situations like the loss of a job or marriage problems may lash out at others inappropriately. Certain types of personality disorders or mental illness might also interfere with someone's ability to relate to others in healthy ways or cause problems with aggression or self-control.
Of course, not everyone with a personality disorder or mental illness becomes abusive. Fortunately, people who abuse can get help and learn how to take responsibility for how they act — and learn ways to stop. Sometimes a seemingly minor thing can trigger a big reaction.
Being touched inappropriately by a family member, or being told to keep secrets, for example, can be very confusing and traumatic. Every family has arguments. Friends, couples, coaches, and teachers can get upset, frustrated, or have a bad day. We all go through difficult times when someone is stressed and angry. Punishments and discipline — like removing privileges, grounding, or being sent to your room — are common.
But if punishments, arguments, or yelling go too far or last too long it can lead to stress and other serious problems. Stay alert for signs and clues that your abuser is getting upset and may explode in anger or violence. Come up with several believable reasons you can use to leave the house both during the day and at night if you sense trouble brewing.
Identify safe areas of the house. Know where to go if your abuser attacks or an argument starts. Avoid small, enclosed spaces without exits such as closets or bathrooms or rooms with weapons such as the kitchen. If possible, head for a room with a phone and an outside door or window. Come up with a code word.
2. They often can’t remember exactly what happened.
Hide a spare car key where you can get to it quickly. Practice escaping quickly and safely. Rehearse your escape plan so you know exactly what to do if under attack from your abuser. If you have children, make sure they practice the escape plan also. Make and memorize a list of emergency contacts.
Ask several trusted individuals if you can contact them if you need a ride, a place to stay, or help contacting the police. Memorize the numbers of your emergency contacts, local shelter, and domestic violence hotline. If you decide at this time to stay with your abusive partner, here are some coping mechanisms to improve your situation and to protect yourself and your children.
You may be afraid to leave or ask for help out of fear that your partner will retaliate if he finds out. Check your smartphone settings. There are smartphone apps your abuser can use to listen in on your calls, read your text messages, monitor your internet usage, or track your location. Consider turning it off when not in use or leaving it behind when fleeing your abuser. Get a second cell phone. Some domestic violence shelters offer free cell phones to battered women. Call your local hotline to find out more. Call collect or use a prepaid phone card. Remember that if you use your own home phone, the phone numbers that you call will be listed on the monthly bill that is sent to your home.
Use a safe computer. If you seek help online, you are safest if you use a computer outside of your home.
Why People Abuse
Use a computer at work, the library, your local community center, a domestic violence shelter or agency, or borrow a smartphone from a friend. Change your user names and passwords. In case your abuser knows how to access your accounts, create new usernames and passwords for your email, IM, online banking, and other sensitive accounts. Your abuser could be using:. Smartphone apps that can enable your abuser to monitor your phone usage or track your movements.
Global Positioning System GPS devices hidden in your car, purse, on your phone, or other objects you carry with you. The location of the shelter is kept confidential in order to keep your abuser from finding you.
4 Reasons Why We Don’t Believe Abuse Victims
Domestic violence shelters generally have room for both mothers and their children. The shelter will provide for all your basic living needs, including food and childcare. The length of time you can stay at the shelter is limited, but most shelters will also help you find a permanent home, job, and other things you need to start a new life. The shelter should also be able to refer you to other services for abused and battered women in your community, including:. While shelters take many measures to protect the women they house, giving a false name may help keep your abuser from finding you, particularly if you live in a small town.
If you have children, they may need to switch schools. Take a new route to work, avoid places where your abuser might think to locate you, change any appointments he knows about, and find new places to shop and run errands. Consider getting a restraining order or protective order against your abusive partner.
However, do not feel falsely secure with a restraining order. Your stalker or abuser may ignore it and the police may do nothing to enforce it.
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If you are the victim of stalking or abuse, you need to carefully research how restraining orders are enforced in your neighborhood. Find out if the abuser will just be given a citation or if he will actually be taken to jail. If the police simply talk to the violator or give a citation, your abuser may reason that the police will do nothing and feel empowered to pursue you further.
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