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Abuse

If you are abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend. If you question whether or not you've been abused by an intimate partner, or whether or not you are at risk for intimate partner abuse, click one of the following links read the material then return to this page and read fixing your life:

Learn now how to protect yourself physically before someone tries to hurt you by reading Self Defense.

If you have a friend you suspect is abused, learn how to help at Stopping a friend's abuse.

Fixing Your Life

It's not your fault.

Abuse, whether physical, emotional or both, is dead wrong. You do not deserve it, because nothing anyone could possibly do would justify abuse. There are other ways to discipline a teenager and to steer them in the right direction. Parents or guardians can reward or encourage appropriate behavior. They can take away a privilege like watching television, or going out on a particular weekend.
These types of discipline are at worst annoying. They don't make you feel violated, afraid, isolated, used, ashamed, or terrified. It doesn't matter what rules you might have broken. It doesn't matter what religious sins you may have committed. It doesn't matter what thoughts or fantasies you may have had. Nobody can control their thoughts. And everyone makes mistakes. It doesn't matter how you act or what you do. The truth is you never deserve abuse. We and many others are on your side!

You are not by any means alone.

About 3 million child abuse reports are made each year. It's estimated that these reports only account for one third of the total child abuse and neglect incidences in the U.S. This means there could likely be 9 million child abuses per year in the United States alone. This is a very depressing statistic. However, the positive side to this fact is that there are literally tons of people that have lived through similar situations of this horrible nature, people who have emerged from a life of fear to make a better life for themselves. Because of these people and the thousands of children being abused today, you don't have to feel hopelessly alone. This country is fully aware of this severe problem and has set up resources to help you.

Reach out to an adult.

First of all there are hotlines you can call right now with professional adults trained to help you. You can call them from anywhere, they can give you priceless advice, and you don't have to pay a penny. It's important to talk to someone that has a background on abuse, and someone who can give you an outside perspective on your situation. Often those abusing you will threaten to prevent you from discussing your abuse with others. Regardless of what anybody tells you, calling a hotline from a phone outside of your house can not possibly do you any harm. Whether or not you call a hotline, you must get help from an adult. If a family member or one of your parents is abusing you, tell the other parent. If the other parent won't help you, you need to seek help from an adult outside of your family. Never be ashamed of what has happened to you. It is not your fault. If you don't seek help the abuse will only get worse. It will take courage to talk with an adult about your abuse, but you must do it to salvage your life. If neither parent will help you, and you want to save your family, seeking outside help is the only way to do it. You can talk to a relative, a teacher, a school counselor, or any adult you know well. You must realize that certain professionals such as teachers or counselors are bound by the law to report the abuse of minors. This law was setup to help families, not to hurt them. The only force breaking up your family is the person who is abusing you. By talking with an adult, you will gain access to the help you need and are entitled to. The person abusing you may be in need of help as well.

Follow Through

Once you have contacted a hotline or adult that is willing to help or offer advice, follow through with action in order to stop the abuse and get help for yourself. If the family can be saved, it will need family counseling. You may need to live outside of your family for a while, or you may not. Whatever may happen, remember, you have no choice but to seek help. This is the only way to stop the abuse and to prevent further abuse from happening to you or anybody else.

Healing

There is life after abuse. You must choose to survive. By getting help and taking action, you will have achieved a tremendous accomplishment. You may need professional help from a psychologist. Getting over abuse is not easy. For a period of time you may feel angry, sad and bitter. There are people who live their whole lives in that state, controlled by these negative feelings. Then, there are people who decide to not let their anger and bitterness toward their family, their abuser or their situation control their lives. They eventually let go of the pain and focus on living a happy life. They focus on the confidence they've gained by making a better life for themselves. They focus on the moment and on their new found future. They learn that there are people who deserve their love, trust and compassion. There is life after abuse and it can be wonderful. As long as you seek help from an adult, you can bring an end to your abuse. Then the only suffering you will have left, will be feelings. Feelings, you have the power to leave behind.

Take the first step.

Don't wait any longer. Seek help and improve your life. We've listed help centers in the right column of this page. Pick one and contact them today.

Related Info

Contact one of the help centers below. Life can get better if you take action today.

Child Abuse
Childhelp USA and National Child Abuse Hotline
1-800-422-4453

Domestic Violence National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233

Rape Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE

Crisis & Grief Counseling Boys Town National Hotline
Crisis counseling for girls and boys and referral to local help
www.ffbh.boystown.org
1-800-448-3000

National Urban league Organization that "helps youth fight the temptations of the street"
1-888-326-YOUTH

National Runaway Switchboard
1-800-621-4000

The National "YOUTH" Crisis Help line
1-800-999-9999

Kristin Brooks Hope Center A national organization that links callers to local crisis centers
www.livewithdepression.org
1-800-SUICIDE

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Great info on suicide and suicide prevention with useful links
www.afsp.org
1-888-333-AFSP

the Covenant House
1-800-999-9999 crisis hotline
www.covenanthouse.org/cov/con.htm
Although written for young kids, this site can provide useful information for adolescence on how to cope with thoughts of...