If someone is harming you or making you do things that feel uncomfortable or that could hurt you, it is never your fault and it needs to stop. However, it can be hard to handle abuse on your own. Your abuser might be a stranger, or it could be a parent, uncle, aunt, brother or sister, teacher or other adult you know. You may feel confused about what is OK or not OK, or feel guilty or scared.
- There is physical abuse, which may be beating hitting, kicking, shaking or otherwise physically hurting someone
- Emotional abuse happens when a young person is screamed at, given overly harsh and unusual punishments, threatened, constantly put down, ignored, blamed or made to feel useless
- Sexual abuse can involve sexual touching, being made to look at pornography or take part in sexual acts with another person without your consent
- Abuse may also occur as neglect. This is the term used when a young person doesn't get the proper food, shelter, medical attention or protection they need to live because their parent/carer chooses not to provide it
If you are being abused or you are worried that someone you know is being abused, it is important to tell someone who will believe you and who you can trust. There are a number of telephone and email advices lines with people who can help you, and you don't have to tell them your name - to find out more click on the "Other sites" tab below.
Also take a look at our "Abuse" page in the "Emergency" section for more information on getting help locally.