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What Is Abuse?

The word ‘abuse’ is everywhere these days. There are stories of child abuse, domestic abuse, alcohol abuse, substance abuse and more. But what exactly is abuse?

The dictionary definition of the term is:

  • to use wrongly, or improperly.
  • to misuse.
  • To misuse authority
  • to treat in a harmful, injurious or offensive way
  • to speak insultingly, harmfully or unjustly to or about someone
  • to commit a sexual assault

Anyone can fall victim to abuse. It isn’t confined to any age group, gender, position in society or level of intelligence and education. This also applies to becoming an abuser. No one can tell an abuser from the outside. And, although some victims of abuse bear physical scars, others are damaged in ways that cannot be detected by merely looking. Abuse can be overt, or insidious. Whatever form it takes, though, help can be found. Whether you are being abused, have suffered abuse in the past that affects your life now, are an abuser or feel that you may be about to become an abuser, you can reach out for help. Equally, advice can be given to friends and families or simply concerned members of the public who know or suspect that abuse is taking place.

Often, women with children (who are married or in a relationship with the father of those children) are the biggest victims of domestic abuse because their circumstances (being responsible for taking care of children and the financial and emotional difficult of leaving their partner). We encourage you to check out SingleMoms.org for guidance on single mother hood (financial, emotional, and parenting help).

Quick Links

Are You Being Abused? Find Out Here:

If you don’t know if you are being abused, find out here what qualifies as abuse. Abuse comes in many forms — it’s not always physical violence.

Do You Want to Leave Him? Here’s How to get started:

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, read our Leave Abuse Plan of Attack Guide on how to (safety) leave your partner. We cover topics like how to change your bank accounts, hide your phone number, find emergency shelter, etc.

Are you a Woman Fleeing From Abuse and Looking for Financial Help? Check Here:

If you are a single mother in an abuse relationship or married and need information about how to survive as a single mother, we encourage you to check out this single mother help website.

Do You Need to Find an Emergency Shelter? 

If you are thinking about leaving an abusive relationship, you should Plan for an Emergency Escape. If if you are looking for an emergency place to stay if you leave, check our page about Domestic Violence Shelters

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