Abuse is a word we see a lot nowadays, most especially in the media. In general, it means the improper treatment of something, usually for the wrong purposes. However, there are in fact different types of abuse depending on the situation and context, and each of them has their own consequences.
In this article will be some of the more known uses of the word, and in what context it is being used.
Discrimination and Prejudice This type of abuse details out the judgment of others based on their appearance or social standing, and one’s treatment of them as if they were less human than others. Even if the other person is an upstanding member of society, those prejudiced against him or her will only focus on the traits they don’t like and continue to judge him or her due to this. As such, this type of abuse tends to be a very controversial topic, and can lead to bullying or hate crimes.
Discrimination and prejudice can be further divided into the following:
• Sexism or bias against a person based on their sex; • Racism and ethnic discrimination or bias against a person’s race or ethnic origin; • Sex, gender-identity and gender discrimination or bias against a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity; • Religious discrimination or bias against a person’s religion; • Age discrimination or bias against a person’s age or age bracket; • Disability discrimination or bias against people with disabilities in favor of those who do not; and • Classism or bias against people of different social or economic standing.
Sexual abuse Another very controversial topic, sexual abuse is the forcing of the sexual act or any other kind of sexual behavior on an unwilling party. Some see sexual abuse as another term for rape and sexual assault and use them interchangeably, but in fact, sexual assault is abuse that happens quickly or infrequently, while rape is considered a specific offense under sexual assault.
Sometimes, sexual abuse can stem from abuse of power wherein a person of authority forces an underling to engage in unwanted sexual activity. There may also be bribery or threats to better force someone to do so, but as long as it is unwanted or not consensual, it still counts as abuse.
Bullying Bullying is in fact a form of abuse, as it makes use of force or coercion to either harm or intimidate other people. This is usually done to either establish power and in some cases the harm done doesn’t have to be physical, as some bullies tend to resort to words to emotionally debilitate or humiliate others if they’re not the type to resort to physical violence. Bullying can also happen repeatedly and regularly if the bully or bullies find one particular target beneficial or gratifying to abuse.
One of the more common forms of bullying takes place in school, usually done by students to other students, though sometimes even those in a position of authority such as teachers can become bullies themselves.
Substance abuse Also known as drug abuse, when the user consumes illegal substances or legal substances that have not been approved for them by professionals, it’s called abuse. When gone unchecked, the person may develop an addiction and continue to need the substance.
Whether or not the person develops an addiction, there will always be symptoms and consequences that may become life-threatening in the future. Some of these are health problems, social problems, violent tendencies and even death.
Domestic violence Sometimes also called spousal abuse and family violence, domestic violence tends to happen within the home, whether or not the parties involved are married. In fact, the abuse of a family member intimate partner or lover is still called domestic violence.
Harm done to another person can be physical, emotional, verbal and even sexual, but some would consider stalking, harassment and unlawful imprisonment to be part of domestic abuse as well.