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Abuse of power occurs where the protagonist has control of the contingencies in a situation (those in power, whether through authoritycoercion, dominance or leadership etc), and because of the lack of counter control, acts in ways which are damaging to the other.

Abuse is a general term for the use or treatment of something (person, thing, idea, etc.) that causes some kind of harm (to the abused person or thing, to the abusers themselves, or to someone else) or is unlawful or wrongful. Its close synonyms are mistreatment and maltreatment. The word "misuse" has a more distant meaning of incorrect, uneducated use, not necessarily harmful.

Psychologists have studied abuse in a wide variety of contexts.

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