One of the most startling statistics that most people can’t wrap their minds around is that every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. If you stop and think about this for just over a minute, this means that during the time you were contemplating the statistic, another person was sexually assaulted.
Assault or abuse of any kind should never be tolerated. Sadly, this is a cold reality for thousands of people across the United States. In fact, many who are abused never actually file a report, making the numbers of assault and abuse much larger in reality.
There are several forms of abuse to be considered as well. Regardless, abuse of any kind is an immoral act and should be treated as a crime. Here, we’ll outline the most common forms of abuse and the signs to look out for.
Abuse From Community Elders
One of the more common forms of abuse that doesn’t always get the attention it should is abuse from the hands of community elders. These are usually the people that we trust and are those that typically hold leadership positions within our communities.
Elder abuse can come from a teacher, a coach, a camp counselor, or even a church pastor. In fact, abuse within the Mormon community has been in the spotlight for many years and is considered a deep-seated problem within the Mormon church.
When you suspect a friend, family member, or child has been abused by one of your community elders, you might notice one or more of the following signs:
- Abrupt withdrawal from extracurricular activities
- Avoiding going to specific venues
- Frequent bruising on the legs, arms, and genitals
- Avoiding going outside at all
Though it might be hard to tell if someone is being abused by a community elder, the signs are usually there in some form. It’s also good to note that a victim of abuse may be reluctant to speak about the incidents if they fear that retaliation from the abuser could be a consequence.
The most common form of abuse in the United States is domestic abuse. It’s an unfortunate reality that hundreds of thousands of American women and men deal with on a daily basis, and many times this is the most difficult situation to intervene in.
Many people want to be dominant in a relationship. This is almost a natural tendency for men, but it also can be associated with women as well. Though being dominant is a trait that speaks of confidence, assertiveness and can enhance decision-making power, some people take dominance too far.
Being dominant in a relationship should never include an act of abuse. In fact, the act of abuse is a tell-tale sign of a lack of self-confidence and self-esteem and is a window into numerous psychological issues.
Most people who suffer from domestic abuse are reluctant to tell anyone simply because they’re dependent on their significant other, or they have a gross amount of guilt and shame that they would rather not let anyone know about. Regardless, the signs of domestic abuse are usually easy to spot.
A person may have frequent bruises on the face or around the mouth, which are signs of being slapped or hit repeatedly. In addition to bruising, domestic abuse victims may be reluctant to leave the house or to go anywhere, even if it’s to see family or friends.
One of the most sickening and vile forms of abuse is that of child abuse. A child is innocent. They aren’t yet wise to the ways of the world and are often only full of love and curiosity. When an adult takes advantage of this, he or she not only commits one of the most morally reprehensible acts, he or she takes that innocence away from the child in the process.
The signs of child abuse may be the most difficult to spot, but there are tell-tale signs.
Children who are victims of abuse usually reenact the abuse around friends or family. This bizarre behavior might be an indicator of an ongoing abuse pattern as well. Along with bruising and developing a fear of certain people, children might also draw scenes of abuse or touch adults in inappropriate places. This can often lead to mental health issues and substance abuse.
If you suspect that any of these signs are related to abuse, call the authorities immediately and put an end to these horrible acts.
Featured Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash