Physical Abuse

Recovering Begins With Healing


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Physical abuse describes any form of intentional or unwanted contact with you or an object near you. Abusive behavior doesn’t always leave a bruise or cause physical pain, but it can still be highly damaging and unhealthy. Common forms of physical abuse include:

  • Punching, biting, scratching, kicking, or choking
  • Throwing a heavy object at you
  • Pulling hair or grabbing clothing
  • Using any sort of weapon, including a knife, box cutter, gun, or bat
  • Forcing sex
  • Grabbing to prevent you from leaving
  • Physically forcing you to go somewhere

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, about 20 people in the United States are abused by an intimate partner every minute. According to Childhelp, a case of child abuse is reported in the United States every ten seconds.

Signs of Physical Abuse

The most obvious effects of physical abuse are cuts, bruises, broken bones, and other injuries that can be treated in an emergency room. However, the injuries you sustain from physical abuse can also affect you in the long-term as you grow older. Some of the long-term physical effects of physical abuse include:

  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic pain

However, much of the damage done to a victim of physical abuse involves their psychology and emotions. Depression is the most common response to physical abuse, along with drug and alcohol abuse. Other common mental illnesses that can result from physical abuse include:

  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Suicidal ideation and behavior
  • Self-harm

Physical abuse can affect children differently, even if they were not the direct victims of violence. This can include:

  • Sleep disruption
  • Stuttering
  • Problems at school
  • Low self-esteem
  • Problems trusting others
  • Self-destructive behavior

Escaping Physical Abuse

Escaping physical abuse starts with realizing how common it is and understanding that it’s not right. If you are experiencing physical abuse:

  • Create a safety plan
  • Talk to a friend, family member, or adult that you trust
  • Consider a restraining order
  • Understand that physical abuse is never your fault
  • Don’t make excuses for someone’s abusive behavior

Treatment and Recovery

Treating your emotional injuries can seem difficult, but over time, they can heal much like your physical injuries. Everyone’s recovery process is different, but this is especially true for kids. Therapy for children who have been victims of abuse focuses on teaching them coping skills for managing their anger and anxiety in healthy, productive ways. Play therapy can provide a safe forum for children to work through emotions.

Recovering from adult abuse follows many of the same guidelines while centering on treating conditions that may have been caused by that abuse, including depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. Group therapy can be particularly helpful as it provides a large pool of support for survivors to pull from.

At HARP, we provide inpatient care to treat a variety of issues related to drug abuse and addiction. If you have questions or would like to get help today, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (877) 806-5022.

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