What is Abuse

Abuse means the misuse of power or the betrayal of trust, respect or intimacy and/or condition or state may include physical, verbal, emotional, mental/psychological, financial, spiritual/cultural or sexual harm or exploitation.

When you think of abuse, what is the first thing that comes to mind? It may be a person being beaten up or a child being hit by an adult. These are definitely examples of abuse, but abuse comes in many forms, for example:

  • Does someone call you names, like “stupid”, “worthless”, “ugly”, in private or public?
  • Are you not allowed to have direct access to bank accounts or need permission to buy or do things?
  • Has someone threatened to hurt or kill you?
  • Has someone ever threatened to force you to break cultural or religious rules that were not allowed by your faith or culture?
  • Have you ever felt embarrassed, ashamed, hurt, humiliated, debased or less human by the way someone is treating you?

All of these are examples of abuse. One incident is one too many.


Types of Abuse

  • Physical Abuse can include slapping, punching, kicking, pulling hair, biting, threatening you or your children, breaking things.
  • Sexual Abuse can include any form of unwanted sexual touching up to and including intercourse, even if that person is your spouse.
  • Emotional Abuse can include withholding affection or intimacy, calling you names, isolating you from friends and family, closing off avenues of support.
  • Psychological Abuse can include calling you names, questioning your mental stability with phrases such as, “You are crazy”, “There is something wrong with you”, “It’s all in your head”, “You are depressed”  and “This is your fault”.
  • Financial Abuse can include taking your money, making you have an allowance and not allowing you to have a job, keeping banking information from you.
  • Cultural/Spiritual Abuse can include not allowing you to attend religious services, forcing you to break religious or cultural rules under threat of harm, not allowing you to engage in cultural events.

Whether you experience one, some or all of the abuse described above, it is not your fault and it can stop. All you have to do is call for help.

Call us now at our 24-hour CRISIS LINE 1.877.382.1888