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What is abuse

Updated on October 25, 2009

October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

The definition of abuse according to Webster's New International Dictionary - Unabridged - Second Edition is as follows:

  • to misuse
  • to put to a wrong purpose or use
  • to misapply
  • to pervert
  • to make a wrong use of authority
  • to make an excessive use of authority
  • to maltreat
  • to hurt
  • to stress excessively
  • to tax (to place a burden upon) excessively
  • to falsify
  • adultery
  • to deceive
  • to impose upon
  • to dishonor
  • to violate
  • to defile
  • to reproach coarsely
  • to upbraid
  • improper treatment of
  • to misuse power
  • harmful physical treatment
  • corrupt actions
  • to offend
  • to use insulting speech towards
  • foul language inflicted upon
  • condemnation
  • rape
  • assault
  • deception
  • bitter attack
  • sharp consistent scolding
  • public humiliation or scolding

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime  Domestic violence constitutes the willful intimidation, assault, battery, sexual assault or other abusive behavior perpetrated by one family member, household member, or intimate partner against another.

Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. 

If you or someone you know is being abused Please seek help 

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Phone: (800) 799-SAFE (7233)

TTY: (800) 787-3224


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    • wendi_w profile image

      wendi_w 8 years ago from Midwest

      you are so right abuse of any type is ugly . If people could only see.

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 8 years ago

      Okay, I've never read the definition. It's a pretty ugly word, and the actions are just as ugly. Do you think that between us we could fill in one occurrence for each bullet? Unfortunately, I think we could. Fortunately, I don't think we need to anymore. :-)