There are different ways that people’s words and actions can hurt us. There’s violence – physical and sexual abuse. There are the words that can cause a lot of pain. And there’s the emotional abuse — the way people treat us that can be just as hurtful as any push or shove. Whether the abuse happened last week or ten years ago, the memories and pain can haunt us and interfere with our relationships and ability to live our lives.

It’s understandable that we can struggle emotionally after any type of abuse. And it’s OK to speak up and reach out for help. Our friends, family members or counselors won’t look down on us for being honest about our experiences and how they make us feel. What’s critical is that we do reach out for support so we can begin to heal and start feeling better.

If you’re currently in a situation where you are feeling mistreated or abused, don’t procrastinate tacking action to protect your physical and emotional health. There’s never an excuse for people to use force, their words or manipulation to cause us pain. There are people who understand, and people who can help.

If you’re healing from past abuse, check out some tips for strengthening your emotional health and helping you cope with that pain by clicking on “Feel Better.” If you’re worried that your relationship might be abusive, visit for information and resources that can help.  If you haven’t spoken to anyone about an abusive situation, please reach out for help.

If you’re worried that your anger and actions might be making someone else feel abused, check out information on breaking that cycle and find help to work on those behaviors.