Learn about the causes of Abuse & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of
Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome Abuse within New
Therapies which may benefit Abuse
Abuse is the harmful treatment of people by others or by a person to
themselves. Abuse can be physical, emotional (psychological), sexual or
verbal. Common types of abuse include childhood abuse, substance abuse
(drug and alcohol addiction), spousal abuse (known as domestic
violence), human rights abuse and animal abuse. Abuse can lead to
feelings of guilt and low self-esteem.
Causes of abuse
Abuse is a complex problem and many factors can contribute to someone
abusing another person or abusing themselves. Below is a brief outline
of the common contributory factors.
- Childhood experiences– Many abusers were themselves abused during childhood and in the case
of abusive parents they will have learned this behaviour and seen it as
a normal way to raise a child. Adults abused as children may later
abuse elderly parents as a way of revenge.
- Financial stress– The cost of part-time childcare or elderly care can be prohibitive
and without temporary relief from the emotional strain of caring,
adults can become resentful and abusive.
- High development expectations– Children are often abused by parents who have unrealistic
expectations of how quickly they can develop. If a milestones in a
child's development such as potty training or feeding themselves isn't
achieved quickly and early, parents may abuse the child for failing to
- Lack of support –
Carers without support from family or friends are more likely to lose
self-control when faced with the stresses of caring for children,
elderly relatives or the infirm.
- Mental disorders– Psychological problems such as depression, anxiety or personality
disorders can cause an individual to become abusive toward their
children or spouse.
- Substances – Alcohol and drugs weaken a person's inhibitions leading to abuse. They may attempt to harm to others or themselves.
- Beliefs– Unacceptable and outdated belief systems can lead to people becoming
abusive. Men who see it as their right to a relationship with women can
be abusive while parents may use violence as a way to raise their
children due to viewing their rights over a child as being absolute.
Managers who view staff as subordinates and not as equals will use
abuse as a way to impose their authority.
- Invulnerability – An abuser will often be aware that bystanders are unwilling to report
their behaviour because of the possible physical, social and legal
repercussions should they get involved. As a result, the abuser views
themselves as being invulnerable to their actions.
Symptoms/signs of abuse
Someone who is being abused or is
abusing themselves can suffer physical, psychological and emotional
symptoms. Symptoms and signs of the common forms of abuse are outlined
- Unexplained injuries
- Covering injuries with excessive clothing (particularly during the summer)
- Running away from home
- Refusal of medical examination
- Fear of physical contact
- Slow development (physical, mental and emotional)
- Social phobias
- Poor hygiene and ripped clothing
- Aggressive behaviour
- Neurotic behaviour (self-harm, rocking, pulling out hair)
- Frequent intoxication
- Inability to carry out routine tasks
- Reliance on drink or drugs to cope
- Medical problems (liver, kidney, heart conditions)
- Broken relationships or difficulty forming relationships
- Financial difficulties (failure to pay bills, loss of income)
- Avoidance of social situations
- Constantly alert making sleeping difficult
- Fear of not being able to protect themselves or their children
- Feeling responsible for the abuse
- Physical injuries (and attempting to conceal injuries with excessive clothing or accessories e.g. sunglasses
- Avoidance of social situations (and fear of being seen with physical injuries)
Diagnosis of abuse
Abuse can have variety of
physical, psychological and emotional problems depending on the type of
abuse suffered and as such a diagnosis will require a varying set of
guidelines. The first step to overcoming abuse is to confide in someone
that a problem exists but this step is often the most difficult.
the first instance you may find it easier to speak with a friend or
family member but any medical conditions such as physical injuries or
psychological disorders (depression etc.) will require a visit to a
healthcare professional such as your GP for a proper diagnosis.
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