1 in 4 women will experience abuse, 1 in 8 children will also experience it, and 1 in 8 men will be victimized as well.
Abuse is violence in any of its forms not just physical even though it is what we most commonly think of when we think of abuse.
Carolyn Smale is the Volunteer Coordinator at Women’s Community House in London and she says there are many ways to abuse a person not just physically. There is financial (forced to live on a budget), verbal, mental, threatening to go to immigration, threats to hurt the victim, the victims parents or pets or other loved ones, and sexual abuse. She says most abuse is not physical because the perpetrator doesn’t want to risk being caught. If there is physical harm it will be on the body where it is easy to cover up or not noticeable.
If the abuser is in the family and abuses their partner, the kids will also be abused from either witnessing their parent being hurt or having the abuse turn to them.
In some cases, the victim won’t get out of the abusive situation until they see how it is affecting the people around them.
Smale says there are other reasons for not seeking help, not just because the person feels they aren’t a victim such as
We look at all the ways to help abuse victims and how they can heal from their experiences, but we have learned that the better option is to teach kindness rather than teach someone how to not be mean. So why do people hurt each other?
They abuse their power and control, whether it’s in a romantic relationship, parent child, sibling, boss role. Some people are power hungry or it is a learned action. So if they were abused when they were younger or witnessed abuse, it becomes a part of what they assume to be normal.
We are seeing abuse more which means more services are becoming available. Women’s Community House is just one but seeing the way they have expanded across Canada now with 575 different locations