Abuse of Power

Definition: Abuse of power can be defined as using the authority, influence, or position of another to accomplish a selfish or inappropriate purpose. It can include the use of unchecked devotion to a cause; the use of influence for private gain; and the suppression of opposing views through threats of violence.

There are many reasons why people might use power or authority, but the problem with abuse of power is that it leaves you feeling vulnerable and wanting to protect yourself. Abused people have feelings of depression or emptiness, and feel afraid or intimidated in their own company.

Aggression towards others is one of the most common forms of abuse of power. It is not always obvious when someone is using power or authority and it can sometimes come as a surprise when this occurs. That is why it is important not to be used by someone to fulfill personal needs and wants.

Power is a very common thing in the world, and it usually starts with a lack of respect. It moves up to overtreatment, then abuse becomes prevalent, and often the abuse is invisible or can only be observed indirectly. Power can mean different things to different people but when someone is in a position of power over someone else, that is a type of abuse of power.

There are six different types of abuse of power: 

  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Verbal/emotional
  • Financial
  • Cultural/identity
  •  Mental/psychological. 

The abuse of power differs depending on who holds the power, but usually, these types of abuse are carried out by someone in a position of trust. 

People who hold power over others tend to use it for their benefit at the expense of the interests of others. The great thing about being free is we can make choices about how we are going to use our power. We can choose what we do with it and when we do use it. The good news is there are things we can do as individuals that diminish the impact that others have on us without resorting to using physical force or committing violence against someone.

The abuse of power is all too easy to imagine, and all too easy to find out about. Suggestions on how to avoid abuse of power are not hard to find, but suggestions on what actually should be done to end and prevent abuse of power are few and far between.