The improper or unfair treatment of someone or something, often for personal gain.
The term abuse is used in several contexts and tends to have different applications in various fields. You can find abuse in many forms, such as physical, verbal, sexual, drug, alcohol, or child abuse. The punishment for abusive acts can be severe depending on the country and local traditions.
Another common form of abuse is emotional and mental abuse, which you can see in the workplace. This type of mental trauma and stress is the result of a toxic work environment. Harsh deadlines, job insecurity, misconduct, and lack of accommodations are just a few reasons that could lead to emotional and mental abuse in the workplace. Employees will quickly burn out and leave the company to avoid further emotional and mental abuse.
In the business and political world, the most common form of abuse is the abuse of power. Corruption, dishonesty, nepotism, and a far reach all relate to an individual abusing the power that has been given to them. You can see abuse of power in any individual that has been given power over others, a school principal, CEO, manager, and politician.
Real-World Example of Abuse
Muammar Muhammad Gaddafi was a Libyan revolutionary and politician. He served as the revolutionary chairman of Libya from 1969 to 1977. He also acted as the head of Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011. He garnered a cult following while serving as the leader of the Libyan republic for four decades. He was considered one of the most controversial and decisive figures in modern political history.
During the end of this tenure, several Libyans strongly opposed his various social and economic reforms. There were several allegations of sexual abuse raised against him. Gaddafi strategically placed several of his close family members in important positions of power to protect his interests.
One of Gaddafi's sons, Muhammed, was the Head of Telecommunications while another one, Muatassim, was the National Security Advisor. Through Muatassim, Gaddafi used his influence and power to pressure the National Oil Corporation's chairman to give Libya $1.2 billion in gas and oil shipments. This was one of several instances of abuse of power during Gaddafi's long tenure at Libya's helm.
Types of Abuse
Let's explore more types of abuse:
- Abuse of Information: The alteration of content is an abuse of information involving a privacy breach and plagiarism. Abuse of information is prevalent in the financial and investment sector, where the disclosure of shares and stocks makes way for illegal financial gains.
- Alcohol/Substance Abuse: The reckless use of alcohol and other intoxicating substances by an individual can cause an addiction leading to the abuse of the substances. Extended alcohol and substance abuse can harm one's health and can even lead to death.
- Animal Abuse: Animal abuse is cruelty towards animals, often for a person's gain. Poachers target elephants for their tusks which have a high value in the market. Poaching of tigers for their skin has been practice for centuries. Due to animal abuse and poaching, many species are considered endangered.