Being a victim of violence is often very traumatic and it is common for it to lead to anxiety and depression. Sometimes it can be difficult to know if you have been a victim of violence, as it is not always visible on the outside. It is also common to blame oneself and feel ashamed of what one has experienced. But remember, it's never your fault if someone has abused you!
Violence can take different forms
There are several types of violence. Sometimes it's someone hitting you, and sometimes it's someone scaring you in different ways. Below we have listed the different types of violence.
- PHYSICAL HEALTH
Physical violence can include slapping, pulling your hair, pushing, holding, kicking, hitting your body or strangulation.
- PSYCHOLOGICAL VIOLENCE
Psychological violence can be threats, someone around you controlling you, or saying abusive and mean things to you. Psychological violence can sometimes be difficult to identify and explain. It is often invisible but can be the most painful. It also includes threats of violence, i.e. the constant fear of being subjected to violence. Psychological violence can also include someone close to you harming your pet or possessions, or threatening to do so.
- SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Sexual violence can be rape, incest (sexual abuse within the family), grooming or someone having sex with you while you sleep. It can also be someone groping you, asking you questions about sex when you don't want to or sending you dickpicks.
Many people who identify as girls feel pressured to do certain things, such as things they've seen in porn. But the person you are having sex with must always find out if you want to have sex, throughout the time you are having sex. You also have the right to stop having sex whenever you want, even if you may have wanted to have sex in the beginning, or have wanted to try some things but not others.
- MATERIAL AND ECONOMIC VIOLENCE
It could be that your partner breaks something you like, takes your mobile phone, breaks clothes or anything else they know you care about. It could also be that someone has control of your money or buys things in your name.
Being neglected means not having your rights respected by your guardians. Your parents or guardians may let you go hungry or there may never be food in the fridge. You may not get warm clothes during the winter. Your shoes may be broken and you don't get new ones. Neglect can also be that your parents don't give you love and you don't feel that they care about or listen to you.
- DIGITAL VIOLENCE
Digital violence is when someone writes mean things about or to you on social media, posts pictures of you and insults you. It can also be that your partner wants passwords to all your social media accounts, or that you should always share your location with them. It could also be that you feel compelled to send naked pictures of yourself to someone.
Digital violence is also when an adult makes contact with you for sexual purposes. The adult may want you to take naked pictures, do sexual things to yourself on camera or similar. If an adult does this to you, it is a serious crime. It is also called grooming, and you can read about it here.
For example, honour-related violence can mean that you are not allowed to meet who you want, date who you want or dress the way you want for someone in your family or relatives.
You may also be a victim of other types of violence, such as digital, physical and psychological violence, where the person or persons committing the violence believe that honour is the "reason" for the violence.
Girls and young women are the main victims of honour-related oppression and violence, but boys can also be affected. Often the violence is explained by the fact that the honour of boys and men is at stake if the girls and women in the family get a bad reputation.
People who break the norm are often affected too, for example if you are gay. In honour cultures, there are often very strict norms around gender and love relationships.
There are several different associations and organisations working to help people who are victims of honour-based violence. You can find their contact details here.
If you are subjected to violence
Remember, no one is allowed to hurt you! It's never okay, and it's never your fault if someone controls you and uses violence against you.
It's good to tell someone you trust about what you're being subjected to, no matter what kind of violence it is. For example, you can talk to a counsellor at school, a teacher, or another adult you trust.
There are many different associations and organisations working to help people who are victims of violence. You are always welcome to chat with us at Tjejjouren West - we are here for you!
If the situation is urgent and you are in immediate danger, always call 112.