Abuse refers to harmful or injurious treatment of a person to another person which may include physical, sexual, verbal, sychological/emotional, intellectual, or spiritual maltreatment.

Abuse is a complex psychosocial problem that affects large numbers of adults as well as children throughout the world. It is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) under the heading of "Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention." Although abuse was first defined with regard to children when it first received sustained attention in the 1950s, clinicians and researchers now recognize that adults can suffer abuse in a number of different circumstances.

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