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What is Abuse?

What is Abuse?

According to the World Health Organization, abuse is defined as “a single or repeated act and can occur in any relationship where there is an expectation of trust or the person is in a position of trust and power.”

Abuse comes in many forms be it physical, psychological, verbal, emotional, sexual, financial, neglect, and/or cultural and community based. Abuse can happen to anybody at any time. It does not differentiate between age, race, religion, class, or gender because abuse is a cross-cultural phenomenon. There is no particular type of person who is an abuser, though most often they are a family member: be it a spouse, partner, sibling, children, grandchildren, step-children or other relatives. They could also be a friend, neighbor, acquaintance, a co-worker or employer, or it could be someone with a professional background like a lawyer, doctor, or teacher. 

Abuse has no regard for who commits it or who is hurt by it, but no one should be indifferent to abuse. It should be understood that abuse is never acceptable under any circumstance, and that no one should experience it. Abuse is a global issue, one that isn’t confined inside borders or nations.

Most often abuse takes place within the home, and the abuser is a family member. Physical violence is the most recognized form of abuse; however, emotional and psychological abuse can at times be equally or more damaging. The purpose of abuse is to exert power and control over another human being.

To know more about the wheel of power and abuse, please see the diagram below:

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