Violence can happen to anyone—males or females, children, teens, adults, older adults, or people with disabilities. You are not to blame. No matter what happened, violence is not okay. Violent people usually have many problems that they find hard to deal with. This can cause them to act out with violence.
Physical abuse includes hitting, pushing, shaking, slapping, kicking, pinching, choking, strangling, and burning. It may come from a stranger. Or it may come from an acquaintance, a close friend, or a family member. Many people who are abused know their attacker.
Violent behavior can also hurt you emotionally. You may feel sad or frightened. Feelings of guilt may prevent you from getting help. But it's important for you to seek help and keep getting help for yourself as long as you need it. Talk to your local child or adult protective agency, the police, or a health professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or counselor. You can also call a local mental health clinic. Any of these people can help you deal with your feelings, get medical treatment if needed, and take steps to stop the abuser.
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.
Physical abuse may include:
Sexual abuse is any type of sexual activity that is done against your will. It can be:
If you have just been sexually abused or assaulted, try to preserve any evidence of the attack.
Neglect is a form of abuse. It happens when caregivers do not protect the health and well-being of the person they are supposed to take care of.
Two common types of neglect are:
Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.
Based on your answers, you may need help right away.
Call your local hospital, clinic, or police department, or call an abuse hotline.
You may also call 911.
Based on your answers, you need emergency care.
Call 911 or other emergency services now.
Sometimes people don't want to call 911. They may think that their symptoms aren't serious or that they can just get someone else to drive them. Or they might be concerned about the cost. But based on your answers, the safest and quickest way for you to get the care you need is to call 911 for medical transport to the hospital.
If you feel threatened, you must have a plan for dealing with the situation. If a family member or someone else has threatened to harm you or your child, seek help.
If you are no longer living with a violent person, contact the police to get a restraining order if your abuser continues to pursue you and act violently toward you.
Here are some things you can do to help a friend or family member who may be a victim of violent behavior.
The most dangerous time may be when your friend is leaving the abusive relationship. Make sure that any advice you give about leaving is informed and practical.
Call a doctor if problems from violence or abuse occur more often or are more severe.
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