Understanding hurt, harm, and abuse

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Some self-harming people feel so angry and aggressive they can't control their emotions. They become afraid that they may hurt someone, so they turn their aggression inwards to get relief " Why People Self-Injure ". People who self-harm are often labeled as 'attention seeking'. However, a person who self-harms may believe this is the only way to communicate their distress, and self-harm can be a hidden problem that goes on for years. It may start as a spur-of-the-moment outlet for anger and frustration such as punching a wall and then develop into a major way of coping with stress that, because it remains hidden, generates more stress.

The severity of self-harm doesn't depend on the severity of a person's underlying problems.

Usually, as time passes, the person who is self-harming becomes more accustomed to the pain they inflict on themselves and so they harm themselves more severely to get the same level of relief. It's important to make a distinction between self-harm and attempting suicide, though people who self-mutilate often go on to attempt suicide. In the case of attempted suicide most usually by swallowing pills , the harm caused is uncertain and basically invisible. By contrast, in self-harm by cutting, the degree of harm is clear, predictable and often highly visible.

Many people indulge in behavior that's harmful to themselves, such as smoking or drinking to excess.

But people don't smoke to damage themselves - harm is an unfortunate side-effect. The reason they smoke is for pleasure. Yet people who cut themselves intend to hurt themselves. Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD. All Rights Reserved. This spiral can lead to permanent injury and serious infections. Children value being believed and, as the adult they have chosen to tell, it's vital that you act on what you've been told. Below you can find advice on what steps to take if a child tells you they've been abused and how you can help keep them safe. Online reports will be read within 24 hours and our advisors will decide what action needs to be taken.

If you're in a situation where a child discloses abuse to you, there are a number of steps you can take. Call us on or email help nspcc. It can be helpful to make some notes on what the child said to you, trying to keep this as accurate as possible. You can report the abuse to the NSPCC helpline at any time where a helpline counsellor will speak with you about what the child has said and advise you on what needs to happen next.

What is Self-Injury, Self-Harm, Self-Abuse? | HealthyPlace

If a child is in immediate danger, call the police on A recent NSPCC study focused on 60 young adults' experiences of childhood abuse and how they disclosed this and sought help Allnock and Miller, The research found that the majority of young people did tell someone about the abuse in some way before they reached 18, but this was usually a long time after the abuse began. In the case of sexual abuse, disclosure took an average of 7 years after the first incident. Many said that it would have helped if someone had noticed the signs and asked them if anything was happening.

When a child did tell someone, it was most commonly a friend or their mother. If they told a professional it was most likely to be a teacher. When telling their mother, it was usually because they wanted the abuse to stop. When telling a friend it was most often to get emotional support. Friends were more likely to pick up on the signs of abuse and were more likely to ask them questions that prompted a disclosure. Children and young people made their disclosure in a number of ways such as: verbally or non-verbally, directly or indirectly, fully or partially.

In some cases they freely volunteered the disclosure, in others they were prompted or accidentally told someone. Of those who told someone about the abuse whilst it was ongoing, less than half said that it stopped. The reasons were because the person they told:. For advice and support for adults who were abused in childhood, please see our information on non-recent abuse. All organisations that work with or come into contact with children should have safeguarding policies and procedures in place that are available to all staff.

This is to ensure that every child, regardless of their age, gender, religion or ethnicity, can be protected from harm.

Self-Harm and Addiction

If a child that you come into contact with in a professional capacity discloses abuse to you, you should follow your organisation's safeguarding policies and procedures as soon as possible. These should provide clear guidelines on the steps you need to take if a child discloses abuse. They will state who your organisation has responsibility for safeguarding or child protection and who you should make your report to. If a child is suffering, or at risk of suffering significant harm, the law supports you in sharing the information with appropriate agencies or professionals without the child's or parent's consent.

Find out more about specific guidlines for reporting abuse in England , Northern Ireland , Scotland and Wales. If your organisation doesn't have a clear safeguarding procedure or you're not comfortable with how your organisation has responded to your report, call the Whistleblowing Advice Line to discuss your concerns. We need to make sure every child always has a place to turn - night and day.

Sign our petition calling on the government to help our Childline service be there for every child.

When you feel you might hurt your child

Find out more. Allnock, D. Skip to content We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. What is child abuse?

Types of abuse. Report abuse.


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