What Is Abuse?

It is when an adult hurts or causes pain to any part of our body on purpose, causes us pain emotionally or psychologically, or neglects our basic needs. It may leave marks, bruises or cause a serious injury, or leave us suffering and hurt.


This can involve hitting with their hand or an object like a belt. It can be pushing, chocking, burning, kicking or throwing things. It can involve saying offensive things to us, swearing at us, threatening to abandon us, or blaming us. It can be touching us inappropriately, or when we aren’t given the things you need to feel secure (food or medicine).

There is nothing we can say or do that makes it ok for someone to hurt us. No matter who is doing it or what they, do abuse is always wrong.


Abuse is sometimes not talked about out of fear that we’ll get into trouble, that we somehow caused it to happen or that we won’t be believed. If you’re being hurt it’s ok to tell somebody. No matter how alone or afraid you feel, it’s important that you tell somebody what is happening.


Telling somebody is the first step. If you don’t get help at first then don’t give up – tell someone else you trust until you get the help you need.

Here are some numbers you can call in the UAE:

If you are unable to make the call yourself, please reach out to a trusted adult, such as a teacher or someone at school who can help you.


If you are outside of the UAE, find a hotline in your area by looking online. You can search for “abuse hotline” or “children helpline”. You might find this number on a government website, or maybe a brochure in your doctor’s office or from the school counselor. If you cannot find any phone numbers, call the local police.