LEGAL ADVICE

The Meanings & Definitions of
Abuse


Abuse is misusing or mistreating another person for your own benefit. This often causes the abused person distress or harm. Abuse will always affect the victim negatively.

Many people who have been abused do not realise that they are being abused, it becomes normal everyday life to that person. It is sometimes family members or friends who recognise the abuse before the victim themselves.

Many victims believe that they are sometimes to blame for the abuse, and that this is their fault. This isn’t the case and is a form of psychological abuse.

The victim is never at fault. Manipulating victims into thinking that they deserve the abuse is common, as the abuser is trying to blame their actions on someone else.

As this guide contains information about traumatic actions and behaviour we recommend readers continue with their own sensitivities in mind.

It also contains considerable and varied abuse topics that may not be directly relevant to the information you are looking for, so for that reason we’ve included a table of contents below. You can use this to skip to specific sections of the page for convenience.

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    Table of Contents

    What is Abuse?

    As victims often cannot spot abuse, they often ask, what is the definition of abuse? We can define this as follows:

    ‘Abuse is the act of causing someone distress or harm. Abuse can take many different forms such as physical or psychological harm.’

    This is a wide definition, and a lot of people may not have been aware that many things that they thought were acceptable, actually count as abuse. Abuse is never acceptable, and it is important for people to know how many types of abuse there are.

    How many categories & forms of abuse exist?

    There are many types of abuse which exist, however these have been narrowed down to four main types of abuse;

    • Physical
    • Emotional
    • Sexual
    • Neglect

    What are the four types of Abuse?

    Physical Abuse

    Physical abuse is when a person is using physical force or violence to cause you harm.

    Forms of physical abuse include; punching, biting, kicking, burning, pulling hair, scratching etc. Physical abuse is not always direct contact, for example, someone spitting on you or forcing you to hurt yourself is also a form of physical abuse.

    Physically abusive relationships can often start with just threats of violence, which then lead to physical force.

    Abusers are often described as apologetic and attentive once committing an act of physical violence, this tactic is used by them to ensure the victim does not report the abuse to any authorities.

    Emotional Abuse

    Emotional abuse, like physical abuse, is a deliberate act to cause a person harm however this particular form of abuse uses emotions to do so.

    Many abusers often turn to emotional abuse as a way to control the victim.

    In an emotionally abusive relationship, the abuser often uses abusive language to bully, criticise and shame the victim – this usually follows in a consistent pattern.

    Emotional abuse can form in any relationship, whether this is an intimate relationship, between families or at work.

    It is not just physical and emotional abuse which occur in daily life, there is also the abuse of physical or material things, such as financial and material abuse.

    Whilst most people assume that physical and sexual abuse is the most severe, it is often psychological and emotional abuse which has the longest lasting effects.

    What is systematic abuse?

    Systematic abuse is methodical abuse which takes place having been planned by the abuser.

    This form of abuse can take place by way of force, isolation, intimidation and emotional violence.

    Sexual Abuse

    Sexual abuse is sexual acts or behaviour forced upon anyone without their consent.

    Anyone can be the abuser or a victim of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse takes many different forms, whether this is kissing, rape & attempted rape and threatening someone into non-consensual sexual activity.

    Sexual abuse also takes the form of sexual harassment, which may not necessarily be a physical act.

    Sexual harassment can include unwanted sexual comments, sexual jokes or explicit pictures or videos.

    Neglect

    Neglect is the most common form of child abuse and is the continuous failure to ensure a child’s basic needs are met.

    Neglect is shown to have severe effects on a child and can often have long term effects on their psychological and physical health.

    Child neglect can range anywhere from failing to provide a child with food or shelter to ignoring or isolating them.

    Other forms of child neglect can include failure to provide a child with an education or even proper health care, both of which are essential for a child.

    What is Emotional & Psychological Abuse?

    Emotional abuse includes isolating and manipulating a person which may lead to psychological trauma. This is a form of mental abuse.

    Emotional abuse is often found in abusive relationships where there are traces of power imbalance. Just like physical abuse, emotional abuse is a way of gaining control over an individual.

    This form of abuse can lead to psychological trauma in the forms of anxiety, depression or PTSD.

    Emotional abuse became illegal in the UK in December 2015 when new laws were introduced.

    How do I know if I am being emotionally abused?

    There are many different signs when it comes to psychological abuse which include things like name calling, being shouted at without reason or even just being stripped of independence and self-worth.

    Although psychological abuse doesn’t include physical force, many abusers will often use the threat of violence to manipulate their victims. In such situations, it is extremely important for you to realise that you are not the only one going through such abuse and that this is not your fault in any way, shape or form.

    Emotional abuse often leads to the victim feeling psychologically weak and frightened, which can have long lasting effects on an individual’s day to day life, hence why it is extremely important to get yourself out of that situation.

    How do I escape psychological abuse?

    In order to do this, you will need to make yourself and your wellbeing a priority.

    Abusers often can’t be fixed and so it is important you remove yourself from the picture.

    There are many different types of helplines and support groups which you can access in order to get support when leaving an abusive relationship.

    What is gaslighting?

    Gaslighting is another form of mental abuse. This form of abuse makes the victim constantly doubt themselves and their actions.

    This is a form of manipulation which makes the victim feel as though they have a mental illness. It is normally accompanied by domestic abuse.

    What is Domestic Abuse?

    Acts of violence between family members and current and/or ex partners is what defines domestic abuse. This doesn’t necessarily mean the person needs to commit a physical act to be abusive.

    Usually, the abuser will try to assert dominance, power and control over their partner; in most circumstances this is achieved by making their partner fearful. The different forms of abuse are:

    • Physical
    • Sexual
    • Psychological
    • Emotional
    • Financial

    What does Domestic Abuse mean?

    Where there is an incident of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, this can be identified as domestic abuse.

    Stalking and harassment is also a form of domestic abuse, which is sometimes overlooked by victims.

    It is important to note that anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of someone’s gender or sexuality.

    What is the Domestic Abuse bill?

    In the UK, domestic abuse is considered to be a serious crime. In order to protect abuse survivors, the UK implemented the Domestic Abuse bill in 2020 which states that any act of domestic violence is punishable with imprisonment.

    One of the mandatory terms of the bill is that the abuser’s sentence must last up to a maximum of three years and no less than six months.

    As well as to protect abuse survivors, one of the other purposes of the Domestic Abuse bill is to raise awareness regarding the impact of domestic abuse on victims and families.

    Furthermore, the aim of the bill is for better use of the justice system in order to better protect victims.

    What is the legal definition of domestic abuse?

    The legal definition of domestic abuse as defined by the UK government is…

    ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality’.

    The definition of domestic abuse came into force by the UK government from 13th March 2012.

    The definition recognises a number of types of abuse such as financial, emotional, sexual psychological and physical abuse.

    What is classed as domestic abuse?

    Domestic abuse is the behaviour of one person that is used to intimidate or humiliate the other person.

    Domestic abuse does not always have to be physical in order for it to be classed as domestic abuse . Any form of abuse where the individual acts in a certain way in order to obtain control or power over another is classified as domestic abuse. No matter how small the incident may be.

    Physical abuse is when an individual uses physical force against another. This can be in the form of numerous ways such as kicking, slapping, punching, strangling and other ways in which physical harm can be applied to someone else.

    What counts as domestic abuse?

    Domestic abuse can take place against anyone.

    Against children

    Domestic abuse can be made against children in the forms of bullying, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and maltreatment.

    As children are much younger compared to adults, children often do not understand how to reach out to other people to ask for help.

    In some cases, children are not aware that what is being done to them is wrong. This often leads to child development issues where the child begins to believe that it is normal to act like this against other people.

    Against women

    Domestic abuse against women is the most common type of domestic abuse in the UK. Violence against women has been identified as a worldwide human rights and health issue.

    Violence against women can take the form of sexual abuse, physical abuse, control, financial abuse and emotional abuse.

    Many women face abuse for a number of years without speaking to anyone about it.

    Whilst the abuse can range from physical to emotional abuse- the impact of it can still have a damaging effect on the victim.

    What is Physical & Violent Abuse?

    Physical abuse is an act of violence where there it physical contact between the perpetrator and the victim. This generally involves an abuser beating a victim, but by definition may be a lot less than that.

    Generally, the majority of physical abuse takes place in a domestic setting and in the form of Domestic Violence.

    What is Domestic Violence?

    As described above, domestic violence is any form of violence which takes place in a domestic setting or household.

    Whilst the vast majority of domestic violence are females, statistics show that the number of male victims of domestic violence is increasing.

    Unfortunately, children are often victimised by the perpetrator or witness the violence taking place.

    What is Sexual Abuse?

    Sexual abuse is where an individual may be forced into sexual activities by someone.

    If the individual is young, then they may not understand that what is happening is wrong.

    The individual in this situation may also be pressured or coerced to do something sexually when they do not want to.

    Someone can force, control or exploit you to this type of behaviour.

    What is the definition of sexual abuse?

    This is behaviour which is of a sexual nature and takes place without consent.

    Anyone can be a victim of sexual abuse such as women, man or child.

    What counts as sexual abuse?

    Sexual abuse can be physical, psychological, verbal or online. Any situation that causes distress to yourself may be considered sexual abuse.

    Sexual abuse can be rape. This means vaginal, anal or oral penetrative sex with another person against their will.

    Sexual assault can also constitute to sexual abuse. This can be someone touching or kissing someone sexually without their consent.

    Serial rape can also count as sexual abuse where the incident occurs many times by the same attacker.

    Some of these situations can occur without your knowledge which could possibly result in memory loss of the situation.

    What is sexual abuse in adults?

    As mentioned above the sexual abuse in adults can be rape or inappropriate touching anywhere.

    Further to this, sexual abuse is any sexual activity that the person lacks capacity to consent to or even sexual photography.

    Indication that sexual abuse has taken place is, bleeding or pain in the genital area, bruising to the body, unusual difficulty in walking, self-harming, sleep disturbance and withdrawal from relationships.

    What is Neglect or Neglectful Abuse?

    This can be described as;

    ‘Neglectful failure to supply the needs of the child.’

    This can mean not providing someone with enough food or with the right food and failing to look after them sufficiently.

    Someone is more at risk of abuse when:

    • They are isolated and do not have many friends to contact
    • They are a dependant on a carer
    • Their carer may be addicted to drugs or alcohol
    • Their carer may rely on them for financial support

    What is child neglect?

    Child abuse is not as obvious as physical abuse such as a black eye.

    Child abuse can constitute failures to deal with the child’s needs, leaving them unsupervised, exposing them to sexual situations or putting them in dangerous situations.

    This can leave lasting effects on children. Abuse does not only occur in bad people.

    Abusers sometimes have been abused themselves meaning they may feel as though this is the correct way to parent. Most abuse is likely to be carried out by a family member.

    What is considered neglect?

    Different types of abuse can be:

    • Belittling or shaming someone telling someone they are “worthless”
    • Bullying/threatening someone
    • Ignoring or rejecting a child
    • Not being affectionate towards a child
    • Exposing a child to violence against others

    This can also be physical abuse:

    • Lashing out at a child

    • Using fear to control behaviour

    What is neglectful abuse of the elderly?

    This can be either a single or repeated act occurring within any relationship.

    This violence can include sexual, psychological, emotional and even financial.

    Someone who is responsible for the individual could also abuse an elderly person by financially exploiting them such as stealing income cheques, misusing their credit cards, forging their signatures, etc.

    Some individuals may also use force against elderly people which could result in physical pain, injury or impairment.

    This abuse can also be emotional, for example, humiliating the elderly person, isolating them from friends or family and intimidating them through yelling or threats.

    What’s the difference between abuse and neglect?

    Abuse is when you cause someone harm or distress.

    Neglect is mistreating someone resulting in carelessness for other people’s needs.

    Neglect often results from the lack of taking action.

    What is Verbal Abuse?

    Like mental abuse, verbal abuse involves the use of threats in order to scare or control someone.

    Often, verbal abuse may escalate to physical abuse. In some cases, the abuser may suffer from narcissistic, antisocial or borderline personality disorder, which may sometimes explain the reason for their actions. However, that doesn’t mean that the victim is at fault.

    Verbal abuse is not as clear as other forms of abuse such as physical and sexual. It is an interaction between people with an intent to cause harm; a person will continuously use words to frighten or control someone.

    People’s different personalities mean that there are different levels of tolerance for teasing, however, personality conflicts should not cause emotional pain. It becomes verbal abuse when one person is uncomfortable and often upset over this.

    What is the impact of verbal abuse on victims?

    A victim of verbal abuse can feel controlled and will often question themselves and who they are.

    It is not unusual to feel worthless and incompetent compared to those around you; victims are essentially being told how to feel and perceive themselves by their abuser.

    What does verbal abuse look like?

    Verbal abuse can come in all forms.

    Abusive language is often based on race, religion, sex, gender identity or national origin of an individual which can be followed up with threats, criticism, personal attacks, degradation and accusations.

    Abusers will often attempt to insult or humiliate you through name-calling and will lead you to feel like you are overreacting and insensitive to their comments.

    This is manipulation, another form of verbal abuse.

    What is manipulation?

    Manipulation is often subtle, meaning it is difficult to notice; it is situations such as the abuser putting the blame on the victim, so they feel guilt.

    • Example: You made me react like this, why would you do this to me?

    Gas lighting is also included as a form of verbal abuse. This is where the abuser will dismiss the victim’s emotions, leading the victim to believe that their feelings are meaningless or wrong.

    Gas lighting can make people feel isolated and second guess themselves.

    • Example: Why are you overreacting? You’re so sensitive?

    Verbal abuse is not always in a partnership. Abusers are found in everyday situations: family life, friendships and workplace environments.

    What is Child Abuse?

    Child abuse involves the physical, sexual or psychological maltreatment of a child.

    This may also be in the form of neglect which is where the child’s basic needs are persistently not being met.

    What is parental abuse?

    When answering these questions, it should be noted that a parent or guardian is responsible for ensuring that the child is safe at all times and has the basic necessities which may include adequate food and clothing, protection from any harm or danger and adequate supervision.

    Any failure to meet these obligations may be classed as parental abuse.

    What does child abuse include?

    Physical child abuse is when someone intentionally hurts a child.

    This often comes in the form of shaking with younger children which can be extremely dangerous and cause long lasting injuries.

    Hitting, slapping, and using physical force to discipline are all types of physical child abuse often experienced by children.

    How do I spot child abuse?

    There can often be signs of child abuse in children which include things like unexplained injuries or fear of physical contact with others.

    What does emotional abuse of children look like?

    Emotional abuse can take place in many different forms and can affect how a child feels about themselves.

    Examples of psychological abuse include being unfairly blamed, made to feel unloved or being made to feel in danger.

    This may lead to reduced development of the child and long lasting psychological trauma.

    What impact does abuse have on children?

    Children often begin to feel worthless and as though they deserve the abuse as that is all they have grown up to know.

    What is child sexual abuse?

    Many children grow up experiencing sexual abuse.

    This type of abuse may be committed by adult men, women and other children.

    It doesn’t always include violence and so many children are not aware that they are being sexually abused.

    What does child sexual abuse include?

    Sexual abuse may include acts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activities, grooming a child in preparation for abuse or taking indecent images and videos of children.

    Exploiting children sexually doesn’t always have to take place within the family home.

    Sexual abuse can also take place within schools were teachers abuse their positions of power.

    How do I help a suspected child victim of sexual abuse?

    Many victims of sexual abuse are threatened not to tell anyone which can be extremely psychologically draining and is the reason why so many victims fail to come forward and report their abuser.

    It is important to recognise the amount of courage it takes a victim to speak out and report what they have been through.

    If you know a child who might be asking what parent abuse is or is showing signs of being a victim, should consider the definitions above and seek help immediately.

    What is Spouse/Partner, Marriage & Relationship Abuse?

    Much like domestic abuse, relationship abuse involves acts of physical, sexual, financial & mental exploitation between one member of a relationship to the other.

    Relationship abuse is common in the UK, with almost 2 million people each year being a victim. On top of this, many victims are unable to report the abuse they have suffered.

    What is mental abuse in a relationship?

    Mental abuse can take many forms; often it can involve:

    • Yelling and excessive swearing
    • Rejection; rejecting your views and opinions and shutting down your ideas
    • Gaslighting; making the victim doubt their thoughts, feelings & sanity

    Feeling scared or confused around your partner is a possible indicator you are a victim of emotional abuse.

    If you feel you are being undermined or feel that without your partner you will be alone, or will having nothing, then it is likely you are experiencing this abuse.

    Other indicators may include:

    • Your partner threatening to leave you
    • Comparing you to other people
    • Making threats to you, themselves & other if you leave them.

    What is economic & financial abuse?

    Relationship abuse heavily involves the abuser controlling their partner.

    Economic and financial abuse is no different. If your credit cards, bank account and expenditure is monitored or controlled by your partner, then you could be experiencing economic abuse.

    Furthermore, if you’ve been forced into debt because of your partner & are unable to regain the money you spent, this is also another sign that you are suffering from economic abuse.

    This form of abuse is another extremely common factor which can arise in abusive relationships.

    Financial and material abuse is the act of controlling another person’s money and finances – this includes wills, debts and credit. Financial abusers often limit the victim’s access to money in order to control and isolate the victim. Many abusers often do this as a way to ensure that the victim has no way of escaping the relationship.

    What is material abuse?

    Material abuse is the act of exploiting someone’s property, belongings and financial resources – like financial abuse, this form of abuse puts pressure on the victim in relation to their finances as a method of control.

    What is coercive control?

    Coercive Control is a common aspect amongst domestic violence relationships, which can often be overlooked by victims. Coercive Control refers to repetitive acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation; often these acts are to take away the victim’s independence, making them question their sanity & feelings.

    The abuser may make rash claims against the victim, for example calling them a bad parent, even though they may not be.

    Signs of a controlling person include:

    • Blaming the victim
    • Frequent criticism
    • Isolation
    • Keeping a track record of things against their partner
    • Intimidation

    By crafting an uneven power dynamic in the relationship, the victim can often find it difficult the leave their abuser.

    Coercion is very dangerous and is considered a serious offence in the UK. The main reason for the danger is that the victim, in the majority of cases, is not aware that they are being controlled or manipulated. This can create confusion for the victim long term, making them doubt their decisions.

    What is Discriminatory Abuse?

    Discriminatory abuse focuses on differences in one person, perceived by someone else.

    An abuser often targets their victim based on age, gender, race, disability, marriage, pregnancy and religious belief.

    This form of abuse can come in direct and indirect forms.

    Abusers will often harass their victims through verbal abuse, slurs and deliberate isolation. It is possible that victims will be singled out by groups as well as individuals, causing them to feel more alone and afraid.

    A victim can feel a range of emotions to discrimination: anger, frustration, fear and anxiety; causing victims to be withdrawn from those around them.

    Discrimination can also come in the form of vandalism which attacks a group as a whole, instead of singling out an individual.

    What is homophobic abuse?

    Abusers will target victims based on their sexuality, appearance or behaviour.

    Like verbal abuse, homophobia can take place through name calling, spreading rumours, cyber bullying and can sometimes result in physical violence.

    Victims of homophobia will be subjected to negative attitudes and beliefs about transgender or homosexual people.

    This can often lead to emotional changes in a person, causing them to experience depression and anxiety, as well as questioning who they are and who they want to be.

    What constitutes racial abuse?

    Discrimination also includes racial abuse and attacks are a very serious issue for minority ethnic communities.

    Discrimination towards a race can come in verbal and physical forms towards individuals or groups due to their race, nationality or national origin.

    Victims are often affected by assault, slurs and name calling, damage to property and racist graffiti.

    The repetitive behaviours can come from one or more persons and may not only be from strangers, but from neighbours, teachers, friends and family.

    What is Xenophobic abuse?

    Racial discrimination can also lead to xenophobic attacks.

    Xenophobia is the fear and hatred of people from other countries.

    Characteristics of xenophobia can be spotted when a person is often going to great lengths to avoid certain people from a particular group or area.

    This includes going to great lengths to avoid friendships with people based on where they are from, avoiding a particular area and difficulty connecting with people in different environment based on where they are from (I.e work colleagues, classmates, team-mates).

    This form of discrimination does not just affect individuals, but impacts entire societies.

    Abusers often isolate these groups or individuals to verbally or physically assault them.

    Xenophobes often perform hate crimes towards the societies and cultures fuelled by hatred leaving the victims in pain.

    What is Workplace Abuse?

    Workplace bullying is a consistent pattern of poor treatment from others in the workplace this is in the form of physical or emotional abuse.

    This can include verbal, psychological, humiliation and also nonverbal abuse including physical abuse.

    Bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation is not acceptable behaviour in the workplace or anywhere else.

    What does workplace abuse look like?

    Examples of bullying or harassing behaviour include:

    • Spreading malicious rumours
    • Unfair treatment
    • Picking on someone
    • Regularly undermining someone
    • Unreasonably denying someone’s training or promotion
    • Racism or prejudice
    • Sexual harassment

    Bullying and harassment can happen in different ways, these include:

    • In person face to face
    • By email/text
    • By letter
    • By phone

    What are the laws around workplace abuse?

    Bullying is not against the law, but harassment is. If the unwanted behaviour is linked to any of the following this would help identify the abuse.

    • Age
    • Sex
    • Disability
    • Gender reassignment
    • Marriage and civil partnership
    • Pregnancy and maternity
    • Race
    • Religion or belief
    • Sexual orientation

    Abuse of authority in a workplace is when someone uses their position in the workplace to mistreat others.

    What should I do if I’ve been a victim of workplace abuse?

    If you have been a victim of harassment, bullying, victimisation or intimidation you should do the following:

    • Try and resolve the issue by communicating with the individual or individuals there is an issue with.
    • Log any incidents that have occurred, seek out any possible witnesses.
    • You should then speak to a manager, human resources (HR) department or a trade union representative.

    If this does not work, you should make a formal complaint using their employer’s grievance procedure.

    If this does not work and you’re still being harassed, you can take legal action at an employment tribunal.

    Can abuse take place in the workplace?

    Yes it can. In a workplace environment, verbal abuse may include mocking, insulting, or yelling at the victim; this can either be in front of people, or in private.

    Signs can be very difficult to spot within the work environment due to possible power differences

    Common abuser and victim situations can be between workers and their managers, making it difficult to spot the abuse, and victims being unwilling to resolve it.

    This can cause effects such as loss of desire to work and perform well, feeling shame and guilt or physical changes like high blood pressure and anxiety.

    What is Organisational & Institutional Abuse?

    Organisational abuse is the mistreatment of people in their workplace which is brought by the poor practice of the company and ultimately affects the smooth running of the organisation.

    Organisational abuse can take place in the form of a lack of training, no support by management and no supervisions.

    Victims of organisational abuse often fear coming forward as they feel the risk of losing their job.

    Institutional abuse is when the abuse takes place in a setting away from the home. The abuse may take place in a school, hospital or nursing home.

    Institutional abuse can take place in the form of lack of choice in a decision against the person, inappropriate confinement, abuse of power and control and abuse of an at-risk persons finance.

    What is carer and medical abuse?

    Medical abuse is when a person with authority abuses their position of power by inflicting violence on another.

    Medical abuse can take form by way of sexual abuse, abuse by way of medication and abuse by misdiagnosis.

    Medical abuse can also be taken against children – it refers to a child receiving harmful and or unnecessary care as a result of their parent intentionally inducing illness, fabricating the illness and exaggerating the symptoms.

    What is considered nursing home abuse?

    Nursing home abuse arises when the caregiver harms those residents they are taking care of in long term caring facilities.

    Abuse of this kind can take form by way of causing intentional and unintentional harm to the victim.

    This may be done by the way that the victim is handled, fed or taken care of.

    Patient abuse is when a professional acts in a way which causes the individual to endure unreasonable suffering.

    What is sexual abuse in health and social care?

    This abuse can take form in the way of sexual assault whilst conducting examinations, prescribing medication which is not required and undertaking unnecessary procedures.

    Patient abuse can take place in both an NHS setting and a private setting.

    Whilst the standard of care in private practice is expected to be higher, patient abuse can still be made against the patient regardless of the setting.

    Whilst medical professionals are expected to provide a high standard of care, there are some professionals who inflict physical pain on others.

    This is also considered to be patient abuse.

    What is Cyber & Online Abuse?

    Technology is an important aspect in all people’s lives and has many different benefits. It can connect you to people all over the world and allow you to contact loved ones who live in different countries.

    However, despite all the benefits of technology, it does bring many challenges. Being able to connect to anyone in the world brings the danger that you could be exposed to cyber abuse.

    Cyber abuse can only occur on an electronic device, and is where someone will mistreat another person with the intention of harming them mentally.

    It literally can happen to anyone who has an electronic device and is very common among teenagers.

    Abusive emails

    Sending abusive emails is classed cyber abuse.

    Abusive emails are threatening or deceptive emails that are intended to harm the recipient.

    This type of abuse can also be sent over text message, on social media or on dating apps.

    Social media abuse

    Social media abuse is where someone is publicly abused online.

    An example of this could be someone sharing indecent images of another person against their knowledge or without their consent, or commenting with a message that is nasty or disrespectful on someone’s content.

    The 2021 European cup shows that cyber abuse is rampant within the UK as a number of English footballers were abused online due to their race, shortly after their defeat in the Euros final.

    Cyber dating abuse

    Cyber dating abuse is where someone is abused over the internet and both parties are in a romantic relationship.

    They may have met on a dating app, on social media or only be communicating on the internet as they are in a long-distance relationship.

    This type of abuse is not always instant. The relationship usually starts out as any other, the only difference is that all communication is online.

    From this the relationship becomes more abusive from one party.

    Due to the nature of the relationship, important personal information is exchanged and can be held against someone.

    Sometimes it may lead to a person being blackmailed.

    Identity theft

    Identity theft is also a common type of cyber abuse. With this type of abuse, it harms a person’s reputation or public image as opposed to harming them directly.

    Someone who has an account on social media can comment and like other people’s content. If a fake profile is made it can be very harmful to someone’s reputation. This is because the abusive comments appear as though they are coming from yourself.

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