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Physical Abuse - Topic Overview

Violence can happen to anyone—males or females, children, teens, adults, older adults, or people with disabilities. You are not to blame. No matter what happened, violence is not okay. Violent people usually have many problems that they find hard to deal with, which can cause them to act out with violence.

Physical abuse includes hitting, pushing, shaking, slapping, kicking, pinching, choking, strangling, and burning. Physical abuse may come from a stranger, an acquaintance, or a close friend or family member. Many victims of abuse know their attacker.

Violent behavior can also hurt you emotionally. You may feel sad or frightened. Feelings of guilt may prevent you from getting help. But it is important for you to seek help and continue to get help for yourself as long as you need it. Talk to your local child or adult protective agency, the police, or a health professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or counselor. You can also call a local mental health clinic. Any of these people can help you deal with your feelings, get medical treatment if needed, and take steps to stop the abuser.

Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a doctor or get other help.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 05, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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