Abuse: When somebody hurts another person

Abuse is the cruel and violent treatment of another person. When you abuse someone you disrespect their body, their feelings or their safety. The person abusing you could be a parent, a family member, a teacher or even a member of your community.

It’s important for you to know that being abused is never your fault. It is not because of something you did.

Abuse can be physical. This is any action that causes your body pain and leaves a physical mark. Abuse can be when someone hits, kicks, bites, chokes, throws, burn or violently shakes you. Abusers will often pretend it was an accident that you got hurt.

Abuse can be emotional (feelings) or verbal (words). This happens when someone constantly shouts, swears, criticises, scares or even just ignores you. When someone uses emotional abuse on another person, they are hoping to hurt you by destroying your self-worth. Emotional abuse can hurt and cause pain that lasts a lifetime.

Abuse can be sexual. This happens when someone touches your penis or vagina, makes you touch theirs, makes you watch sexy things, or even has sex with you; without your consent (agreement). In South Africa, you can only give sexual consent once you’re over the age of 16. Sexual abuse can happen between an adult and a child, children or adolescents.

Abuse can be when you are not looked after properly. It is called neglect. It happens if your parent/caregiver leaves you alone, doesn’t give you food, love, clothes or they don’t take you to the clinic if you are sick.

If you think that one of these kinds of abuse is happening to you, speak to an adult that you trust.

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B-Wise User Anonymous 23 March 2020 00:07

I have been with this guy for 6years,he abuses me physically and emotionally,l have a great child with him,,

B-Wise Expert Expert 23 March 2020 14:00


Abuse is not right and he could get arrested for abusing you. Read more here on abuse https://bwisehealth.com/search?keyword=abuse  

Only you can break the cycle of abuse 

B-Wise User Anonymous 18 March 2020 00:44

hi i have a problem that broke my heart everyday i murdered my boy last because he is abusing me and i was get arrested about this incident but when i am out of jail i didn't get help because i was traumatized

B-Wise Expert Expert 23 March 2020 11:38

Hello there, 

There are many helplines you can call for counseling,  https://bwisehealth.com/article/help-support-mental-health-substance-abuse

B-Wise User Anonymous 9 August 2019 17:06

What should I do if my friends at school abuse me by threatening me,scares me that they will beat me ..

B-Wise Expert Expert 11 August 2019 12:16

Hi thank you for your question. No one should be allowed to bully you. It would be best that you tell a trusted adult or even a teacher who would be able to help you. You can check out this article for more info Are you scared of somebody? Are you being bullied? 

B-Wise User Anonymous 10 December 2018 12:06

I am a foreigner married with a citizen but always when we have arguments she will insult me and whole my family include my parents that passed away longtime. now i feel depressed. she is drinking alcohl alot. i love her and don't want to divorce. can you help me with direction

B-Wise Expert Expert 12 December 2018 23:12

Hi Basaula, thank you for your question. Sorry to hear about your difficult situation, it must be difficult for you. It seems as though you are going through emotional abuse. It would be best for you to visit your local clinic to speak to a counsellor or a psychologist. 

B-Wise User Anonymous 4 November 2018 17:49

How can I tell my brother to stop abusing me physically without reporting him to the police?

B-Wise Expert Expert 5 November 2018 12:53

Hey there , thank you for your question. Its is difficult if you don't want to report you brother to the police but remember NO-ONE has the right to physically abuse anyone. If you don't want to go to the police you can talk to a trusted adult who will be able to help you

B-Wise User Anonymous 6 November 2017 14:32

What is women

B-Wise Expert Expert 6 November 2017 15:20

Dear anonymous
Thank you for your question.
Though it seems like a simple question, gender is a lot less simple than some people think. Mostly when people say the word 'woman', they mean a person who has a female sex (ovaries, vagina vulva, breasts), and who people call 'her' or 'she'. Often times, people who are women are feminine in how they look and the way they see themselves in the world. But there are many women who do not look feminine but feel just as much of a woman as the next woman.
There are also people who do not have typically female anatomy (female sex characteristics) and have a mixture of some male and some female characteristics. These people are intersex, and it is best to understand if they call themselves a man or a woman (or both or neither), from them. There are also women who were not born with female sex characteristics, but still, see themselves as women. These are transgender or transwomen, but again it is best if you ask them how they see themselves.
So a woman is someone who calls herself a woman. The best thing to do if you are not sure is to respectfully ask that person, and then respect what they tell you.

B-Wise User Anonymous 31 October 2017 15:57

Where can I go for any support when physical abuse

B-Wise Expert Expert 1 November 2017 12:02

Hi, thanks for this question. If there is an adult you know and trust, tell them – and if you are in danger or worried about your safety right now, call the police on 10111. If people under 18 are being abused, call Childline on 08000 55555 – they can give you support and advice if you would like to report the abuse or see a counsellor. The Gender-based Violence Helpline can help with any gender-based violence issues. You can call them on 0800 428 428 or *120*7867 from any cell phone. People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) have shelters for abused women in different parts of the country: call them on 011 642 4345 or 011 642 4345. For family counselling you can call FAMSA on (011) 975-7106/7. Take a look at the contact numbers in “Help & Support: Relationships & Family” to see which other numbers are helpful for you.

B-Wise User katleho 27 June 2017 18:32


B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 11:53

Hey there, you are most welcome!

B-Wise User katleho 27 June 2017 14:02

Can i ask a one question.can the police believe my statement if i tell them abt it?

B-Wise Expert Expert 27 June 2017 14:53

Hi Katleho, It's the police's job to take your statement and to investigate it. If you speak to a police officer and they don't want to take your statement, tell an adult you trust like a teacher, social worker or nurse. If you are under 18 they can report it for you, and if they are over 18 they can help you to report it. 

B-Wise User katleho 27 June 2017 13:32

He slap me and call me names,pls we can i get help will u give me police number?

B-Wise Expert Expert 19 April 2018 18:11

Hi, Katleho. Here are numbers to the police:

Police emergency: 10111

Police (report a crime): 0860 010 111

Here is the number for Childline National Hotline: 08000 55555

Please speak to a trusted adult about this. Maybe they can help you. 

B-Wise User katleho 27 June 2017 13:31

How can i bee protect in this house pls guy?

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 12:29

Hi there , you can call Childline on 08000 55555 – they can give you support and advice if you would like to report the abuse or see a counsellor.

B-Wise User katleho 26 June 2017 23:30

I have been abuse by words and violence and bad language

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 12:29

Hi there, we are sorry to hear that you are experiencing that. You can call Childline on 08000 55555 – they can give you support and advice if you would like to report the abuse or see a counsellor.

B-Wise User Sianne 17 April 2017 22:22

I have been abused by words and violently but I did not know what it is called until I lent recently Thanks

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 12:24

Hi there, thank you for your feedback, we are glad that you learnt something new from reading the article

B-Wise User Anonymous 12 April 2017 16:02

My testis are getting big why?

B-Wise Expert Expert 25 April 2017 11:51

Hi Anonymous, thanks for your question. The testes develop over time from childhood right up into adulthood. Just like a girl’s breasts develop and get bigger during puberty, so will boys’ testes. Although this is totally normal, there is also a medical condition called hydrocele, which is when there is fluid in the scrotum because of trauma or an infection. It is best to visit your nearest clinic to have a check-up done.