Family abuse is when one member of the family tries to hurt or bully another member of the family, or does things to them that make them feel bad about themselves. Parents and adults in your family have a responsibility to look after you and care about you.

Family abuse can go on between siblings (brothers and sisters), or between parents and children. Often families keep the abuse a secret and don`t want anybody to know about what is happening.

Family members should always show each other respect. Everybody has the right to express opinions and beliefs, but when these beliefs aren`t represented in a caring and loving way, family members can feel hurt.

Family abuse is signified by a lack of respect for other people in the family, and an attempt to hurt, control or bully other family members. Instead of looking after you, they do things that can hurt you or make you feel bad about yourself.

The difference between arguments and abuse:

All families have arguments – that`s normal. But there is a difference between an argument and abuse.  In an argument, all people should be able to remain fairly calm, have their opinions heard, and feel that their family still cares for them in the same way. In an abusive situation, family members feel afraid to share their opinion because they are worried that the other person will hurt them in some way.

If you feel that you are having a hard time controlling your anger during an argument, check out our article “Dealing with Anger“ to help you out.

Remember that you are important. Your life counts, and you can make a difference in this world. If you ever need to talk about this or anything else, feel free to get in touch with us. We’re here for you.