Types of abuse


Types of abuse may be one-off or multiple incidents, and affect one person or more.
Repeated instances of poor care maybe an indication of more serious problems and of what
we now describe as organisational abuse.

Abuse is any action that harms another person and includes the following:

· Physical abuse includes: assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint,
inappropriate physical sanctions

· Domestic violence includes: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse,
‘honour’ based violence

· Sexual abuse includes: rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure, sexual assault, sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting

· Psychological abuse includes: emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation, unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks

. Financial or material abuse includes: theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

· Modern slavery encompasses: slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Read Modern slavery: how the UK is leading the fight for further information.

· Discriminatory abuse includes forms of: harassment, slurs or similar treatment because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion. Read Discrimination: your rights for further information.

· Organisational abuse includes neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.

· Neglect and acts of omission includes: ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs; failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services; the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating

· Self-neglect This covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding. It should be noted that self-neglect may not always be a safeguarding or adult abuse concern. An assessment should be made on a case by case basis. A decision on whether a response is required under safeguarding will depend on the adult’s ability to protect themselves by controlling their own behaviour. There may come a point when they are no longer able to do this, without external support. (Care Act 2014, Care and Support statutory guidance, Department of Health, updated 24 March 2016)

Report abuse

What is abuse?

Types of abuse

Signs and indicators of abuse

Who might need safeguarding services?

Who might cause abuse?

Dignity Code