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Harmful treatment. A misuse of a person or relationship causing harm.

Abuse has many forms. It may reveal itself with bruises and cuts. It can show up through the use of threatening language or manipulation. It can be physical, emotional, or sexual. But whatever its outward form, abuse is where one human being mistreats another for their own selfish end. 

The effects of such mistreatment is many. Abuse leads to feelings of isolation, fear, distrust, anxiety, and low self-esteem. But whether the victim or the victimizer, both may struggle to form proper relationships with other people and with God. If allowed to run unchecked, these effects can come to define a person. But God offers a new identity as neither “victim” nor “victimizer,” if you learn to see yourself as God really see you.