As a MindBodySpirit® Coach, one of my roles is helping clients make sense of why they're in their current situation.
One essential dot for them to connect is how their formative experiences have influenced who they've become, which is a very delicate conversation to be managed.
Clients may describe in detail how they've lived under the extreme pressure of a parent with high expectations, only to be berated when falling short of meeting their demands.
For all intents and purposes, this is a form of abuse, and while not physical, certainly no less damaging to one's sense of self.
However, calling it abuse when someone is not willing to assign that label to their parents or themselves, is a surefire way of pushing them past their emotional threshold.
Once beyond their limits, defensiveness in the forms of justification, minimization, and denial ensues.
Unless someone uses the term abuse or flirts with some notion of it in their vernacular, it's best to use their words and build upon them subtly over time--empathy required.
"By studying the principles of symbolism, we can learn to not be unconsciously influenced by language, and in this way can escape a host of erroneous notions." Bertrand Russell