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Every Hour in America 570 teenagers will be beaten, molested, or abused Abuse Statistics

  • Approximately 1 in 5 female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner
  • In a study of eighth and ninth graders, 25 percent indicated that they had been victims of dating violence, including eight percent who disclosed being sexually abused
  • In a survey of 232 high school girls, 17.8% of the participants indicated that they had been forced to engage in sexual activity against their will by a dating partner
  • Physical aggression occurs in 1 in 3 teen dating relationships
  • Fifty to eighty percent of teens report knowing someone involved in a violent relationship

Abuse can be emotional, physical, and/or sexual

Emotional/Physical Abuse

Emotional abuse is the most common form of abuse yet the least talked about. Emotional abuse is often overlooked simply because the person being abused does not recognize the behavior as abusive. Emotional abuse consists of verbal insults but it also goes much deeper than that. It is a series of repeated incidents that insults, threatens, isolates, degrades, humiliates, and/or controls another person whether intentional or not. Different patterns of emotional abuse are insults, criticisms, punishment, aggressive demands or expectations, threats, rejection, blame, neglect, emotional manipulation and control, isolation, terrorizing, ignoring, and/or teasing. Many times emotional abuse turns into physical abuse as well. These different patterns of emotional and/or physical abuse can take place anywhere such as in your own home, at school, workplace, and/or relationships.

Physical abuse and neglect occurs when a person is mistreated; resulting in injury or risk of harm. Physical abuse is defined as non-accidental physical trauma or injury inflicted on someone. It also includes a parent or caretaker’s willful failure to protect a child from another person who perpetrated physical abuse on a child.

While physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. In its most severe form, physical abuse is likely to cause great bodily harm or even death.

Here are some signs that a person has been physically abused:

  • Dressing in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors)
  • Having frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”
  • Being depressed, anxious, or suicidal
  • Frequently missing work, school, or social occasions, without explanation
  • Seeming afraid or anxious to please their partner
  • Going along with everything their partner says and does
  • Checking in often with their partner to report where they are and what they’re doing
  • Receiving frequent, harassing phone calls from their partner
  • Talking about their partner’s temper, jealousy, or possessiveness
  • Having very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident
  • Showing major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn)

Effects of Emotional/Physical Abuse

Words hurt. Many people who are emotionally or physically abused internalize the abuse and are left feeling fearful, insignificant, unworthy, untrusting, emotionally needy, undeserving and unlovable. They may also feel as if they were bad, deserving of the punishment, and somehow to blame for it.

Too often emotional abuse is minimized and the individual being abused is told “it’s not that bad.”   Many fail to realize the deep profound effect emotional abuse has on a person’s self-image and self-confidence.

Have you gone from being happy, outgoing, self-confident, and care-free to nervous, anxious, and fearful?

Are you being emotionally abused?

  • The first step is recognizing that you are being abused.
  • Always remember to trust your own instincts and how you feel.
  • Once you are aware of what emotional abuse is you will be able to recognize it more easily.
  • Don’t forget that your actions are not the problem. You are not responsible for the emotionally or physically abusive person’s actions. No matter how nice you are, their actions will not change until they receive help. Place responsibility where it belongs: On the abuser.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse Statistics

  • 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18
  • 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet
  • Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including adults) occur to children ages 17 and under
  • An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today
  • 30 – 40% of victims are abused by a family member
  • Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust
  • Therefore, only 10% are abused by strangers

Sexual abuse occurs in many forms over a wide range of age groups. Sexual abuse is most common among women and can occur at a very young age or as an adult. Just as in emotional abuse, sexual abuse often goes unreported because the abused individual is afraid the abuser may attack her again, or even that the abuse is somehow her own fault. Often times, women are sexually abused by someone they know, such as a family member or boyfriend/husband. Sexual abuse is extremely damaging and painful emotionally and psychologically to the individual being abused.

Common Misconceptions

  • No, really doesn’t mean no
  • Nice girls don’t get raped
  • She asked for it
  • Children make up stories about rape
  • The victim is at fault for allowing sexual abuse to continue
  • Most assaults are by strangers
  • The best way to recover from the assault is not to talk about it and act like it never happened
  • Attractive women are provocative and/or promiscuous

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Helplessness
  • Guilt
  • Humiliation
  • Insomnia
  • Impaired Memory
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse
  • Eating disorders- loosing or gaining and excessive amount of weight
  • Dressing down, not taking care of yourself to become less attractive
  • Turning to a relationship with a woman instead of a man

Post-traumatic stress is also common among individuals who have been sexually abused. Post-traumatic stress may include flashbacks of the assault, avoidance of the place and circumstance where the abuse occurred, and avoidance of previously pleasurable activities.

There is hope…..

If you are struggling with past or present abuse, we are here to help.  Only Jesus can heal the damage that abuse causes.  God never intended for you to suffer abuse.  It was never His plan.  Sometimes people blame God for things that happen. Some might ask “If God is all powerful then why did He allow this to happen to me”? The truth is God never intended for you to suffer at the hands of your abuser.  He gave each of us a free will to make choices.  People who make wrong choices end up hurting others. God did not abuse you. Instead He has promised to walk with us through our darkest most traumatic times.  He promises to never leave us.  He has promised to heal every hurt.  We don’t have to be a victim.  We are not only survivors but over comers. We have a voice.  We don’t have to hush any longer.  We are a safe place to share your story and find the healing you have been crying out for.

If you are struggling with past or present abuse, we are here to help.  Call us at   (225) 686-7747