Physical abuse is when someone is hurting you on purpose. It could include things like hitting, pinching, slapping, scratching, kicking, hair-pulling, shaking, suffocating, making you swallow things that hurt you or making you take medicine when you are not ill. These are only a few examples, and it may be something different for you.
The person hurting you could be anybody, but it is often someone that you know – a family member, carer, friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, or another adult or young person.
It is never ok to hurt someone else or for someone else to hurt you, so you should not feel like you need to keep the abuse a secret. Your abuser might tell you not to tell anyone, or try to make you feel bad or guilty by saying that you deserved it, but it is important to get help because otherwise they might keep hurting you if they think they can get away with it.
Being in a situation where you are being physically abused or you are scared of what someone might do is hard. If you’re ever in immediate danger or require emergency help – remember to call 999.
If you feel like you are not safe but it’s not an emergency, you can still contact the police or reach out to Social Services. You can also reach out to people who you trust in your life, or organisations that can help you for emotional support.