Abuse Counselling

Have you been the victim of past or current abuse?

  • Are you struggling with the impact of past abuse?
  • Are you a survivor of past violence struggling with the impact of the abuse?
  • Do you find yourself hyper-vigilant doing normal, every day activities?
  • Are you feeling emotionally drained from supporting a victim of abuse or trauma?

When you contact us, we will help you choose the best match for your situation from our team.

For your convenience, we are open daytime and after hours, Monday to Saturday, including evenings. We can also be contacted on (02) 9683 1444.

What is abuse?

Abuse, in basic terms, is cruel or violent behaviour towards another person.

Abuse can bring about a sense of powerlessness or victimisation. A key element of processing your experience is to get to a place where you can regain the power that was taken away.

Abuse is not a topic that people feel comfortable bringing up. There can sometimes be an air of secrecy and shame due to the nature of abuse. Many people can find themselves in disbelief that they are caught in an abusive situation. There is hope and you can find the help you need to heal.

Abuse can be experienced in different ways. It can be a one-off incident of abuse or it can be prolonged over a period of time, sometimes even years.

Abuse can take place at the hands of someone close to you. This can make it all the more difficult to speak out and get the help you need. People who do reach out do so at a time in their life where they feel ready.

Abuse can occur in childhood or adulthood. The impact of the abuse and what is needed to heal depends on the circumstances around the abuse.

Reach out for professional help today

Common types of abuse

Childhood sexual abuse

Sexual assault experienced as a child can be very traumatic.

Children or adolescents are at developmental stages where their sense of self and security in the world are still developing. The trauma can be so overwhelming to children. They can develop a lot of problematic coping skills and negative thoughts about themselves and about the world. It can also affect their attachment with their loved ones and set them up to have difficulties in future relationships.

Childhood sexual assault can also be a contributing factor in developing some mental health conditions in the future.

Childhood sexual abuse does not always result in penetration. There are many different activities perpetrators may do, or make children do, and all are harmful to their development. These activities include pornography and grooming behaviours.

If you are an adult survivor of child sexual abuse or have children who have been assaulted, it’s never too late to get the help you need.

Excessive discipline

Abuse can come in the form of excessive force or punitive disciplinary tactics by parents. Regardless of if there are physical injuries, these can leave emotional and psychological scars on the children.

Research shows that physical discipline can have detrimental effects on a child’s developing sense of self and their place in the world.

For more information, see: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/num_act/capma2001n89575.pdf

New South Wales Law considers physical discipline as abuse and a crime if it is:

1. Unreasonable based on the child’s age, level of understanding and physical health
2. Excessive in force, or causing harm that lasts for longer than “a short period”.
3. Applied to a part of the body that is vulnerable such as the neck and head.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence (DV) is any type of abusive behaviour perpetrated towards someone within a domestic relationship. This extends to in-laws and cousins etc, but generally relates to violence within the home.

There can also be an element of power and control occurring with one partner using abusive behaviour to control and manipulate the other.

There are different types of domestic violence apart from physical violence. Verbal and emotional abuse, psychological abuse and financial abuse are also classified as DV. DV often results in one partner feeling isolated, not knowing how to make a change or escape the patterns of violence.

While men can be victims of an abusive partner, often there is a gendered pattern of DV in society. Women, and often their children, are more commonly the victims of violence. DV affects a woman’s sense of security, their identity and their relationships. DV can affect the attachment that a child has with their mum as well.

Assault and battery

Assault and battery capture any other form of physical abuse that can occur. Sometimes this may be in the form of what appears to be a random act within the community. Someone may be the victim of an assault while they are going about their daily lives and may not know the perpetrator.

At other times, the assault may be perpetrated by someone you know. Either way, this kind of abuse can lead to trauma responses for the individual.

It is important to note that threats to harm or kill hold the same weight within our psyche as actual physical harm. A sense of traumatisation can occur even in the absence of physical harm.

Counselling can help you to find peace about your experiences, and to be able to move on from that trauma.

Goals for counselling

A trained psychologist or counsellor can help you. The goals of therapy for people who have experienced trauma generally include:

  • Support to make sense of current experiences. There can be an element of disbelief and confusion surrounding the experience of abuse. Being able to process these thoughts and feelings are key to unlocking healing.


  • Developing coping skills to work through any trauma or distress associated with the abuse.
  • Assess and change any unhelpful or negative self-evaluations in relation to the abuse. Some people may blame themselves and rationalise that it occurred due to who they are or what they did. The truth is: it is never the fault of the victim that the abuse occurred.


  • Help to make plans for the future and integrate the experience of trauma within an optimistic worldview.