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Understanding abuse victims

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2023 | Blog, Domestic Violence

There’s no one type of abuse victim in Massachusetts. Despite this, many people might have a very specific image in their head when they think of a domestic violence victim. It’s important to recognize the sign of abuse in different groups.

What’s considered abuse?

Abuse can come in many different forms. It’s defined as damage done to a person or animal through cruel or downright violent behaviors from another person. Abuse can be:

  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Emotional
  • Psychological

It’s not uncommon for there to be multiple types of abuse. For example, a lot of physical or sexual abuse might come hand-in-hand with emotional abuse. It’s easy to spot the signs of physical abuse, but psychological and emotional abuse can be harder to spot.

Types of abuse victims

Anyone can be a victim of abuse, but not every person or group of people will experience the same type of abuse. For example, child abuse can look different from elder abuse.

Child abuse and elder abuse can both involve neglect by a caregiver. While elders and children can experience physical abuse or emotional abuse, there’s a higher chance that they’ll suffer from psychological abuse or even health problems from neglect.

Adult abuse doesn’t involve neglect as a form of abuse, but there can still be an unbalanced power dynamic that contributes to the abuse. Most domestic violence victims will suffer emotional abuse that slowly escalates to physical abuse.

Helping abuse victims

It’s important to recognize when someone you love has a drastic change in attitude or behavior, as that is the first indicator of abuse. An outgoing child might suddenly seem reserved, or an adult might suddenly pull away from all their friends.

If you think someone you know is going through abuse, it’s crucial to reach out to them. There are resources online that can help you intervene and get your friend to safety.