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Not All Abuse Is Physical

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Physical abuse is nothing to turn a blind eye to. It can break you, it can even kill you. It will leave lasting marks and not just the ones others can see with their eyes. I am by no means belittling those who have been physically harmed or are currently in that situation. It’s something that needs to be taken way more seriously than it is. I have not been physically beaten. In that way, I have lucked out. I have however known people who are close to me that have been through it. I have seen what it does to them, both physically and mentally. It’s a horrible thing to see someone go through. I hate violence, it’s such an ugly thing. Men, women, and children fall victim to violent acts daily and it breaks my heart. If I knew someone was being abused, I would not stay silent, thinking that it’s none of my business. I would step up and find a way to help.

Sexual abuse is not quite the same, but it is still physical and it’s also something that will leave scars no one can see. It will leave you changed and talking from experience, it sticks with you for the rest of your life. Even if you try to make peace with what happened, you never forget. This too is nothing someone should remain quiet about if they know someone is being put through this. I know some feel it’s not their business and some feel they may only cause more damage, but I can tell you that it’s vital to get someone out of situations like these. (I can’t watch Law & Order: SVU without feeling something.)

But, physical acts of violence are not the only forms of abuse. There are people that have never laid a hand upon another, but they have done great damage to those around them. Verbal abuse and neglect does damage to people as well, damage that leaves scars, damage that isn’t so easy to get over. It is hard to just come to terms that it’s not their fault somehow and it creates a lifetime of self doubt. Often times, the physical scars will heal, fade, and seemingly disappear, while the emotional damage it leaves behind sticks around. (though not always, sometimes the physical abuse leaves permanent damage as well.)

All forms of abuse are horrible for anyone to go through and it’s often not easy to speak up about it, either of fear or shame. I think it’s very important to do what we can to help others who have gone through or are going through it. It’s so easy to feel alone and isolated, like there’s no way out, no way to heal, and no way to possibly have a good life. “I’m damaged, too damaged. There’s no hope for me. I’ll always be this….” I have said and thought these things myself. And as someone who has struggled with overcoming the past myself, I find it vital to be there for others. There is always hope to get through and to find a way to heal, as long as there are others willing to reach out to them.

If you don’t feel like you can help, at least don’t make things worse. What we do and say may not always seem to resonate negativity to us, but it may just be causing harm to someone else. So, I want to impress the importance of watching what we do, how we act, and what we say. Don’t be the one who brings others down, even unintentionally. If somehow we find that we have hurt someone, then make amends. No one is perfect and we all have said and done things, whether intentional or not, that have hurt others. So when we cause harm, we ought to own up to it and do what we can to make things right. There is so much hate, violence, and cruelty in the world today and it only seems to be getting worse. So, I urge all willing to listen to do their part to not let it win, to instead let the light shine, to be beacons of hope and love. Let us all do our part to help one another heal.

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