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All abuse must be taken seriously. All abuse is damaging. While the results of some kinds of abuse are more visible, it is not possible to say that visible abuse is more serious than abuse that cannot be seen. Not all abuse progresses to physical violence, but almost all physical violence begins with emotional abuse.

Victims of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, and financial) can experience a variety of emotional responses. These can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • An increased use of drugs, including alcohol, tobacco and others
  • Stress-related physical symptoms (such as sleeplessness and decreased appetite resulting in inadequate nutrition)
The Domestic Violence Law Brochure