Health Watch: Exploring the Most Common Forms of Abuse in the United States

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We all begin our lives in a dependent state. As infants, we're dependent on our parents or guardians. Without them, we're unable to survive. As we grow, we learn to trust our family members, and ultimately, we learn how to trust others.

Unfortunately, malevolence does exist in the world, as do people who take no consideration for the safety and well-being of others. These individuals are those who are largely responsible for abuse in all areas of society among the many other problems that an average society faces.

Abuse comes in many forms, and this can range from verbal and mental abuse, to physical abuse which can include sexual assault.

Here, we'll discuss a few of the more common cases of abuse that are, unfortunately, found throughout the United States (and the world) today.

Elderly Abuse

You may have heard of abuse or neglect in nursing care facilities. But, you might be surprised to learn that those responsible for the abuse that an elderly person suffers are often his or her own family members.

It's not uncommon for a resentful son or daughter to lash out verbally or physically at his or her eldery parent, knowing that they're likely unable to defend themselves. Over time, this can cause mental anguish, depression, and even push an elderly person to contemplate suicide.

Elderly abuse is also common at assisted care facilities, and this is typically associated with those facilities that are poorly funded or understaffed.

Child Abuse

Perhaps one of the most unfortunate and vile forms of abuse is that of child abuse. Children are the innocents of the world, and they have little means of defending themselves against an adult's abusive advances, whether this abuse is verbal or physical.

In addition, child abuse often is brought upon by a close relative, parent, teacher, or a community elder such as a pastor or coach. In these cases, the abuse might be an ongoing event and can cause significant psychological trauma that can affect adolescence and a person's ability to function when he or she reaches adulthood.

The worst form of child abuse is sexual abuse, and this is another form of abuse that is hard to deal with when it comes to young children. A child doesn't have a sexually active or carnally driven mind like an adult does, so it becomes difficult for them to cope with what's happening to them, and they often find it difficult to articulate their feelings surrounding this form of abuse.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence accounts for a large percentage of abuse cases filed in the United States. In a domestic abuse situation, the victim might find it difficult to reach out for help becasue they're frightened that this action might cause them even more abuse.

In many cases, a person living with an abusive partner may never seek help. They may feel that the situation will get better or that their significant other will change their ways and stop hurting them if they become more obedient and subservient. This has proven to be a futile strategy, as most abusive people will find some reason to continue being abusive as long as the relationship remains intact. 

Additionally, most domestic abuse is of the physical variety. Though this often includes verbal and mental abuse as well, most abuse cases involve hitting, biting, burning, slapping, and even can include forced sexual intercourse.

All in all, there are far too many instances of abuse that occur on a daily basis in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that on average between 20 and 60 people are abused every minute in America. This is a startling statistic, and it only speaks to the prevalence of violence and abuse within our society.

Abuse is no laughing matter. If you or someone that you know is suffering from abuse, contact the proper authorities and seek help to end the abuse immediately.

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