Nicole Huthwaite Therapy - A change for life
Non Recent Physical Abuse 

Physical abuse can be defined as any intentional act causing injury or trauma to another person by way of bodily contact. Witnessing physical abuse also constitutes physical and emotional abuse.

While not strictly physical, there are other interpretations of physical abuse; 

  • Name-calling and put-downs; overt anger; threats; attempts to intimidate by the abuser
  • Restricting the victim's movements (preventing them from attending work or school, controlling what they do or say)
  • Restricting the victim's access to money
  • Overt jealousy or possessiveness over the victim
  • The abuser harming other people or animals in the victim's life

Many people who were abused in childhood believe that they are to blame and that the abuse was their fault. But this is never the case - a child cannot consent to abuse. Abuse is never the child's fault and is never an accident. A child cannot consent to abuse.

In countless circumstances children were too young to fully understand or articulate what was happening to them. For some they spoke out at the time but weren't believed and for others they were too embarrassed to tell anyone or did not know who to turn to. 

For many, the abuse may have been too difficult to process and they may only remember aspects of what happened as they get older. Others may have lived with the memories all their lives. 
Whether the abuse happened once or hundreds of times, ten years or fifty years ago, whatever the circumstances. It is never too late to seek help. There is no excuse for abuse.


Children who have been abused or neglected may experience physical or emotional harm even if they, themselves, were not the victims of violence. It has been found that one-third of children who witness the battering of their mother demonstrate significant behavioural and emotional problems. The effects can be short term but sometimes they last into adulthood. If someone has been abused as a child, it is more likely that they will suffer abuse again. This is known as revictimisation. 

Long term effects of abuse and neglect include:
  • emotional difficulties such as anger, anxiety, sadness or low self-esteem
  • lonliness, isolation
  • mental health problems such as depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), self-harm,  suicidal thoughts
  • feelings of guilt, blame or shame
  • problems with drugs or alcohol
  • disturbing thoughts, emotions and memories that cause distress or confusion
  • poor physical health such as obesity, aches and pains
  • struggling with parenting or relationships
  • worrying that their abuser is still a threat to themselves or others
  • learning difficulties, lower educational attainment, difficulties in communicating
  • behavioural problems including anti-social behaviour, criminal behaviour.

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