What is abuse?
Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal. Neglect is also abuse. If you feel that you are not being taken care of properly or your basic needs aren’t being met.
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if you are in an abusive relationship. It could be something that has been happening since you were just a little kid so it’s all you know. That does not mean that it is okay and you do not have to live with it forever.
How can I tell if I’m being abused?
If you are unsure if what you are experiencing is abuse, ask yourself the following questions:
- Has this person hit, shaken, burned, choked, beat me or caused me physical harm?
- Has this person overpowered me into sexually explicit behaviors or acts?
- Am I constantly being criticized, threatened, yelled at making me feel as though I am worthless or damaged?
- Do I have enough food?
- Do I have appropriate clothing for every season?
- Do I receive medical care when I need it?
- Does my parent(s) or guardian leave me at home alone without supervision for long periods of time?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is important that you find someone you trust and ask for help. The abuse is not your fault and there are people who can step in and keep you safe.
I am being abused by someone.
Who can I go to for help?
Often times you are being abused by someone who is close to you like a parent, grandparent, or coach. When you are being abused by someone that you should be able to trust, who can you turn to for help?
The police department, a teacher, a school nurse, a guidance counselor, someone at the Behavioral Health Unit, or a member of the Native Connections Team are all resources that you can reach out to for help. They are mandatory reporters and it’s their job to find you help and get you out of harms way.