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Definitions of abuse

Sexual abuse

takes places when someone is forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities that they are uncomfortable with. This could happen online without any actual physical contact.


Domestic abuse

is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. But it isn’t just physical violence – domestic abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse.

It can happen in any relationship, and even after the relationship has ended. Both men and women can be abused or abusers.


Online abuse

is any type of abuse that happens on the web, whether through social networks, playing online games or using mobile phones.


Physical abuse

is deliberately hurting someone causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts. It isn’t accidental.



is behaviour that hurts someone else – such as name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone.


Emotional abuse

is ongoing emotional maltreatment. It’s sometimes called psychological abuse and can seriously damage one's emotional health. Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare or humiliate someone or isolating or ignoring them.

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