Forms of abuse encompass a range of behaviours aimed at exerting power and control over another person. Some common forms include:

1. Physical Abuse: Involves causing bodily harm or injury through actions like hitting, punching, or restraining.

2. Emotional/Verbal Abuse: Involves using words, tone, or gestures to demean, belittle, or manipulate the victim’s emotions and self-esteem.

3. Sexual Abuse: Involves coercing or forcing someone to engage in sexual activity without their consent, including rape, sexual assault, or exploitation. Exploitation can take many forms such as taking advantage of someone who is vulnerable in a given situation, (see below).

4. Financial Abuse: Involves controlling or exploiting someone’s financial resources, such as stealing money, withholding funds, or coercing financial decisions.

5. Psychological Abuse: Involves tactics like gaslighting, intimidation, threats, or isolation to undermine the victim’s sense of self-worth and autonomy.

6. Digital Abuse: Involves using technology, such as social media, texting, or surveillance, to harass, monitor, or control the victim’s behaviour.

These forms of abuse can occur in various relationships, including intimate partnerships, familial dynamics, friendships, and professional settings, and they can have devastating effects on the victim’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.


Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which someone undermines another person’s perception of reality, often causing them to doubt their own thoughts, feelings, and memories. This can involve denying the validity of the other person’s experiences, manipulating facts, or outright lying to create confusion and control. Gaslighting can occur in various relationships, such as romantic partnerships, friendships, or even in professional settings, and it can have serious effects on the victim’s mental and emotional well-being.

Non consensual sex

Non-consensual sex, often referred to as sexual assault or rape, occurs when sexual activity is forced upon an individual without their consent. Consent is a voluntary, mutual agreement between all parties involved in sexual activity. When consent is not freely given or unable to be given (due to factors such as coercion, manipulation, intoxication, or incapacity), any sexual activity that occurs is considered non-consensual. Non-consensual sex is a violation of an individual’s autonomy, dignity, and human rights, and it can have profound and long-lasting physical, emotional, and psychological effects on the victim.

Can a child ever give consent to have sex?

No, a child cannot give valid consent to engage in sexual activity. Children lack the legal and emotional maturity to understand the implications of sexual activity and to make informed decisions about it. Laws regarding the age of consent exist to protect minors from exploitation and harm. Any sexual activity involving a child is considered statutory rape or sexual abuse, regardless of whether the child appears to agree or consent. It is the responsibility of adults to ensure the safety and well-being of children and to uphold their rights.


Exploitation refers to the act of taking advantage of someone for personal gain, often through manipulation, coercion, or abuse of power. It can occur in various forms, including financial exploitation, labour exploitation, sexual exploitation, and emotional exploitation. Exploitation involves disregarding the rights and well-being of the victim and can have serious consequences for their physical, emotional, and psychological health.