Abuse. A discussion piece for students and those who deal with such matters.
This page was first constructed in 2003 as part of a lecture to professional counsellors. The content is my own opinion and is based on many years of dealing with this in the workplace or observation of how people may be influenced and coerced into believing that abuse has taken place.
Abuse may be verbal, situational, physical, sexual, occupational, by text or e mail, anonymous, family, partners, by your children, upon your children or any circumstance where the actions of one upon another without consent are harmful. Victims may be male or female and of any age. Abuse of the more mature is common. It has no less a dramatic effect and lessens the will to live.
inadvertently be effected upon one who is not at first glance a person at risk
and actions may be misconstrued, badly interpreted or connived. Such
may be with one who lies about their age, are on psychological medication, on
hallucinatory drugs, reacting to prescription drugs or have a history of
alleging abuse. It may be a person with cognitive impairment, may feel
threatened or is in care.
It is very easy for
a person to be influenced by a jealous partner and financial gain or simply
mischief may be afoot. Such may be the case following a visit to the
doctor or dentist and any situation where interaction of any sort might be
imagined or actual. To be alone in a lift with a member of the
opposite sex is fraught with possibility.
fantasize and make false accusations in order to bring some sparkle to their
lives and have power over another. A jealous employee may take it
out on the boss who favoured another for a post in the firm.
may be jealous of a new sibling and engineer ‘accidents’. Others may self
harm from a feeling of guilt, having been made to feel unworthy or because they
like the pain. Self harming is a different 'ball game' altogether and not
for open discussion here.
If one is to
discuss ‘Abuse’ we should firstly ensure that abuse has taken place and not
rush to accuse. Mass hysteria does not involve great crowds but
escalates in a few moments within a small group of family or friends.
It is becoming more
apparent that many children are vitamin D deficient, thus liable to broken
bones and that this has nothing to do with parental abuse.
To be objective is
both desirable and necessary if one is not to ruin lives and destroy any
resolution. It is wholly undesirable to name and shame to see if
others come forward.
The accuser may have a history of complaints
and by remaining anonymous, the implication is of guilt first without fair
trial. Innocent people have had their lives ruined without any
wrongdoing at all.
At our clinic, I
see many hundreds of genuine victims of abuse and I see others who have been
coerced into making accusations or told lies to get them to
complain. How does one know the difference?
Were I to be
distanced, too objective or too impersonal the person may not feel open to say
the whole story. If I listen and let the story evolve we may look at
what actually happened.
I used to run
workshops for those employed in the care of those who had problems.
one such workshop, a lady hit a student. He was a professional
counsellor and I had to explain that without a desk, a certificate on the wall
or that person having been referred he was exposed and all his training was to
naught. His manner was patronising in accord to the detachment
demanded by his training.
How you interview is crucial and a failure
by one professional may stop any chance of success with any other.
The way that I have
found best is to offer comfortable, private surroundings and a gentle approach
that is non judgemental. The ‘MOT’ or massage therapies enable a
victim of abuse to regain confidence, to learn that they have every right to
say ‘No’, to decide what happens or does not happen and in absolute confidence
be permitted to grow strong.
Therein is a
In the situation of
on-going abuse, the perpetrator may become extremely violent once it is seen
that control has been reduced. I have seen this a number of times in
the training of self-defence methods and fitness programmes since I took my
first Self Defence class in 1963.
Until the victim is
strong enough and physically able to defend him/ her self, care MUST be taken
to instruct in the sensible approach of appeasement. Do not
open doors that will lead to severe injury.
There is too much
on the web about revenge and so called justice. Be careful not to
open a ‘Pandoras Box’ without knowledge of the consequences. Of
course, sexual or physical abuse upon a child is without question unforgivable
and if found in the course of therapy, reportable to the police.
So, if you have
been abused and are suffering with emotional or physical consequences then the
choice of therapist may not be easy to come to. One reads the
websites or asks of friends who have been through the mill.
It is not always
best to saturate and inure nor is it at all times best to overlay patterns with
suggestions or ‘methods’ of thought.
To keep repeating over and over again the same thing does not get rid of the problem. I have read many sites on the web and few if any, look at what is best overall or offer flexibility of approach. Just go and have a chat. If you do not feel that is the right person, leave. That is your right and the first step to overcoming your situation. It may take a year of therapy sessions with no absolute certainty or guarantee. Happily, a great proportion of those that we see here do recover enough to lead a pretty normal life but we are always open to better ways of helping. You are an individual, a person with the right not to be abused.
Tony Hardiman... Copyright to The Chi Clinic 2003