Abuse is a general term for the misuse of a person or thing, causing harm to the person or thing, to the abuser, or to someone else. Abuse can be something as simple as damaging a piece of equipment through using it the wrong way, or as serious as severe maltreatment of a person.
Several types of abuse include:
- Sexual abuse: The improper use of another person for sexual purposes, generally without their consent or under physical or psychological pressure. It is often inflicted on children.
- Physical abuse: Where one person inflicts physical violence or pain on another.
- Emotional or psychological abuse. Where one person uses emotional or psychological manipulation to compel another to do something they do not want, or is not in their best interests; or when one person manipulates another's emotional or psychological state for their own ends.
- Drug abuse: the misuse of drugs, alcohol or other substances, usually a form of addiction
- Child abuse: Abuse, usually physical or sexual, directed at a child.
- Spousal abuse: Abuse, usually physical, or psychological abuse, directed at one's spouse.
- Elderly abuse: Abuse, most often physical or in the form of psychological threats, directed at the elderly, especially in nursing homes and similar institutions
- Human rights abuse violation of human rights.
- verbal abuse: the use of foul language, obscenities or demeaning talk directed at another.
- Animal abuse Abuse or cruelty directed at animals.