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What is abuse?

Bonnie Lynn Wright, PhD
Geriatrics Nursing

As has been published already, abuse is misuse or maltreatment. It can be a single occurrence, a series or habitual. Abuse can be directed towards others or yourself. It can be legal or involve illegal substances or activities. It can be comparatively inconsequential or life threatening and everything in between.

Often, people are referring to substance abuse or domestic violence when they use the term abuse. Substance abuse is also covered under addictions. Domestic violence is about power and control. It refers to men who abuse their wives or girlfriends as the most frequent type of domestic violence although it also occurs between women (as the abusers) and men and in same sex couples of both genders. Domestic violence includes emotional, mental, economic, sexual and physical abuse.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.