There are several major types of abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse, elder abuse, and psychological abuse.All forms of abuse in the United States are illegal and have the potential to carry serious criminal penalties.Abuse is defined as any action that intentionally harms or injures another person.Abuse also encompasses inappropriate use of any substance, especially those that alter consciousness (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamines).Physical abuse is the infliction of injury by another person.Physical abuse can happen to both children and adults of either gender and of any sexual orientation.
Of these, about three-quarters of the children were under four years old, with the largest number of deaths occurring in infants under one year old.
Nearly 83% of abused children were abused by a parent or a parent acting with another individual.
Physical abuse of adults primarily occurs against women.
The United Nations Development Fund for Women estimates that one-third of all women in the world will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused during their lifetime.
In addition, about 905,000 children were victims of nonfatal maltreatment (a rate of about 12 children 12 per 1,000 population).Nearly three-quarters of these children were victims of repeated maltreatment.