Definition of Abuse


For Children or Adolescents

“Sexual abuse is any contact or interaction (visual, verbal, or psychological) between a child/adolescent and an adult where the child/adolescent is being used for the sexual stimulation of the perpetrator or any other person.”
The Wounded Heart, Dr. Dan Allender, p. 48

For Adults

Sexual abuse is any relationship where the man is abusive or controlling concerning sex, even in the marriage relationship.  If the woman says, “No” and the man physically forces himself on her, that is rape.

All inappropriate sexual contact is damaging and soul distorting, and the spirit is wounded. Only God can heal that wounded spirit.  Watch this 3 minute video.

Mental / Emotional

“You never do anything right.”
“You are dumb.”
“You are a bad girl.”
“You’ll never amount to anything”

Any time a parent, spouse, or anyone else repeatedly attacks you, the person, and not the act, that is abusive. Contemptuous, coarse or insulting words or statements result in negative beliefs about yourself. They can cause you to believe the lie that you are unaccepted and unloved. You may feel lonely, ashamed, bitter, angry, and the list goes on and on.


Physical abuse is probably the easiest to identify because it’s results usually can be seen, although many abuse victims do their best to hide it. When injury is inflicted with the intent to harm, this is abuse.