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Physical Abuse

What Is Physical Abuse?

Physical abuse consists of anything one person does to another that causes physical pain. This includes slapping, pinching, punching, pushing, throwing objects at another person, assaulting someone with an object or anything that brings about physical pain or discomfort to another. Physical abuse can result in bruises, black eyes, knocked out teeth, broken bones, internal organ injuries, miscarriage, brain concussions, and even death.

Most individuals are surprised when they become a victim of physical abuse. Women or men who may have been physically abused by their partner in the past may feel surprised when it happens again. Other victims may walk around knowing that their partner may become physically abusive at any time. Some victims take on guilt about the physical abuse they are receiving, as if they are somehow to blame. However, there are victims of domestic violence who live in denial that they are in an abusive relationship. Some abused individuals may even make excuses for their partner who is abusing them.

Many women report that the physical violence against them escalated when they were pregnant or when their children were very young. This increase in abuse may be a result of the abuser having feelings of jealousy over the woman’s concern for another individual, even if it is an unborn or small child.

Some women are intimidated and/or manipulated into not reporting the abuse they are receiving out of concern for another person. These women may find they are in a relationship with a batterer who is threatening harm to their children, parents, extended family or even to himself through threats of suicide. These women believe that their abuser will carry out his threats.

Many men are intimidated into not reporting physical abuse they are receiving from their female partner because they feel much shame. Many men are taught from a young age that they should be strong and tough. Men may also choose to stay in a physically abusive relationship is out of concern for his children. He feels it is necessary to stay with an abusive wife so the children do not become her victims.

Many victims of physical abuse become experts at hiding the abuse from others. They also become experts at coming up with excuses for their bumps, bruises or broke bones if they are ever discovered and asked about them.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE. They will direct you to places in your area where you can seek help.

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