Abuse is the violation of a person's human and civil rights. It can be a single act or a series of repeated acts. Abuse can take many forms ranging from disrespectful acts, verbal abuse or actual physical harm. All forms of abuse can cause both physical and emotional trauma to individuals.


The most common types of abuse are:

Physical: This includes hitting, kicking, punching, biting, poisoning, drowning, suffocating, burning or any other way of inflicting pain, torture or injury on someone else.

Emotional: This can include constant humiliation undermining a person’s self-esteem and confidence. There is a certain amount of emotional abuse with ALL forms of abuse.

Neglect: Neglect takes place when a person’s basic rights to food, warmth, safety and respect are not met.

Sexual: Can include unwanted kissing, touching the genital area, vaginal, anal or oral sex and rape. This can also include being forced to watch sexual acts or DVDs/films and look at pornographic material.

Men as well as women can suffer from sexual abuse, assault or rape.