What constitutes abuse?

If the physical action or spoken words are consistently/constantly  directed  in a hurtful, negative manner and are damaging to the receiver that is abuse. 

 However, be careful. 

 I am often asked , especially by adolescents, if a parent being overly critical is considered “abuse.”  If a parent repeatedly calls you something unfounded, such as, “You’re a waste of space on this Earth and no one will ever love you.”   Yes, I believe that’s verbally abusive.  Those kind of words lower self esteem and self worth.  However, if a parent says:  “You are wasting your time, and much of your life, with your friends who always get into trouble and also, they don’t seem to care very much if you get into trouble with them,”  then that’s responsible parenting and setting boundaries.  In fact, that’s what parents should do.  There are always back walls and guidelines for parents/guardians or they are not “parenting” but rather just existing in a safe and comfortable environment.  Parenting is the toughest of all jobs.

     Also, if you are physically hit by someone who “loves” you… it “might be” abuse.  If it happens more than once … it is abuse.  If you are hit often, for no apparent reason, by the same person… it is without a doubt physical abuse and it needs to be reported.  Adolescent or adult, constant words of negativity or continual physical punishment to your body by another person is… NEVER ok.    Do not mistake this for love.         Sue

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