Psychological Factors behind Abuse

There are different kinds of abuse. There are abuse of others and abuse of self etc. The age old question is why do people do it? Why does a mother abuse her child? Why does a father abuse a daughter? It is not easy trying to understand why people abuse others. For this, one must delve deep into the mind of the abuser. Is abuse a personality trait which they are born with, or is it learned?

What is abuse? Abuse can be termed as the improper use of something or someone. However, this is a very inadequate term and explanation of what abuse actually is, especially when it comes to people. There are different categories of abuse. These are physical abuse, sexual abuse; emotional abuse, neglect and self abuse just to name a few. When we think of abuse, we often think of family. Abuse goes far beyond family.

The statistics behind abuse are staggering. According to sources, someone in the US is sexually abused every 2 minutes. Almost half of sexual assaults cases are of people below the age of 18. One in four women suffers with domestic violence. All these statistics are alarming and, quite frankly, very scary. But, the question still remains, how and why do people abuse others?

Most of us believe that abusers are not born this way, but rather were abused as children. But, this is not true. In fact, half the people who are abused as children do not go on to be abusers. However, this is a factor that has to be taken into consideration. Some abusers learn to abuse by watching or experiencing abuse from their parents. In this manner, abuse becomes a normal part of their lives. Most of these victims understand what it is like to be afraid and turn the events of their lives in the opposite manner and take control and become abusers.

Abusive behavior can also stem from mental health problems. For example, people with anger management issues, drinking or drug problems might get out of control during an argument and lash our physically. This may become a habit that they are unable to control because of their mental health problems.

Still others abuse because they are unable to feel empathy. Their childhood may have been so traumatized their empathetic abilities never developed. They, as a result, are unable to feel for others and may treat people like objects. They are unable to differentiate between people and objects and treat them as if they were there for their convenience. This is a grave psychological problem. It results in narcissistic behavior. These people may also have anger management issues and impulse control issues.

Whatever the cause, abuse is something that has many psychological factors. It is not normal for a person to lash out at another, especially one who is defenseless. It is not normal for a person to keep doing it over and over simply because they can. Abuse is a psychological problem that needs attention. With proper psychological therapy, abuse can be prevented.

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Psychological Factors behind Abuse. (2018, Sep 20). Retrieved June 26, 2019, from