Assault and abuse

If you are experiencing physical or emotional hurt or if you are frightened because of a person's behaviour towards you then you may be experiencing some kind of abuse.

Abuse can be experienced as

  • Physical - from being slapped, kicked to even greater harm (witnessing physical violence such as breaking of objects causes intimidation and is regarded as abuse)
  • Emotional - such as isolation from family members and friends or verbal as in name calling or put downs.
  • Financial - not having reasonable access to money for livelihood.
  • Sexual - any form of sexual activity not consented to, exposure to sexual innuendo or material that causes acute embarrassment.
  • Sexual Assault and Rape are acts of violence and are illegal.

Abuse and your study

Abusers want you to feel that you are to blame for the way you are being treated, therefore undermining your sense of self-esteem and confidence. When there is abuse occurring in your life your energy is directed towards surviving the abuse, leaving you with little energy to concentrate on your studies. Sometimes your involvement at university or your studies are used as a reason for the abuse. There is no justification for abuse.

Quick tips

  • Trust your senses-your gut feelings
  • Know that you have a right to have your needs met
  • Emotional abuse is subtle and insidious. Distance yourself from this kind of person
  • Being honest with the abuser is no use. You cannot help that person. If you try to then you may be taking responsibility and (in that person's mind) blame for the abusive behaviour
  • Abusers will try to isolate you so be sure to confide in others to break the cycle of abuse
  • Where possible walk away from abusers and get help.

Getting help at Deakin

External support

Eastern CASA
17 Ware Cres, East Ringwood VIC 3135
(03) 9879 8306 (03) 9870 7330 Counselling (03) 9870 7310 Admin

Barwon CASA
PO Box 245 Geelong
291 La Trobe Terrace, Geelong VIC 3220
(03) 5223 2979 (03) 5222 4802 Counselling (03) 5222 4318 Admin

South Western CASA
299 Koroit Street, Warrnambool VIC 3280
(03) 5561 5116 or (03) 5564 4144

Further information

Page custodian: Division of Student Life
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