It’s real. It hurts. It does untold damage.

I’m talking about physical abuse.

Someone who had been physically abused once said this to me: “I still struggle from day to day trying to figure out my life and what I did to deserve it.” The fact is, this person did not deserve it. No one ever deserves it.

So what is physical abuse? There is much confusion and denial over what it is. But it can include:

We’re not talking about accidental injury. It’s physical violence perpetrated intentionally by someone who is asserting authority over another person in order to cause feelings of intimidation, pain, injury, or other physical suffering or harm.

Always remember: abuse is not your fault. No one deserves to be physically hurt.

Who Is an Abuser?

Typically, physical abuse is caused by a person’s inability to control their anger or frustration. This anger is usually about things that have nothing to do with the person they are abusing. Abusers can be triggered by workplace or personal stresses, loneliness, depression, lack of friends, or psychiatric disorders. They may have been abused themselves or are addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Physical abuse can happen to anyone. And it is next to impossible to recognize an abuser from outward appearances. He could be the charming guy who lives next door or the attractive teacher at school. In most cases, the person causing the abuse is a parent. But abusers can also be older siblings, relatives, guardians, or partners.

The blame for abuse lies completely with the abuser. A person whose parents abused her said this to me: “Something I learned that really helped me while I was growing up was that I had to realize it wasn’t my fault — that I didn’t make them act that way and that I didn’t deserve what was being done to me. It’s so easy to fall into a trap of self-blame. You feel like you’re more of an adult than your parents are, so you accept responsibility for things that are actually their responsibility. ‘I should have known better than to say that,’ you tell yourself, or, ‘They wouldn’t get so angry if I didn’t mess up all the time.’”

If you are being physically abused, the most important thing you can do is to find someone you can trust and seek his or her help. No healing from physical abuse takes place without this first very important step.

If you are in immediate danger, contact the police (911) as soon as possible. If you’re under 18 and living in the US, you can also call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).

You can also connect with a free and confidential mentor through the “Connect with a Mentor” button below. You can use your real name or a fake one. It’s totally up to you.

(Original article found at

This article was written by: Dawson McAllister

Photo Credit: Francisco Gonzalez