Information for adults
Abuse is mistreatment by any other person or persons that violates a person’s human and civil rights. The abuse can vary, from treating someone with disrespect in a way that significantly affects the person’s quality of life, to causing actual physical or mental suffering.
What is abuse?
Abuse can happen anywhere:
- in a person’s own home
- in a residential or nursing home
- in a hospital
- in the workplace
- at a day centre or educational establishment
- in supported housing
- in the street
The person responsible for the abuse is often well known to the person being abused, and could be:
- a paid carer in a residential establishment or from a home care service
- a social care worker, health worker, nurse, doctor or therapist
- a relative, friend, or neighbour
- another resident or person using a service in a shared care setting
- someone providing a support service
- a person employed directly by someone in their own home as a carer or a personal assistant
Others are strangers who:
- befriend vulnerable people with the intention of exploiting them
- deceive people into believing they are from legitimate businesses, services or utility providers
- intimidate vulnerable people into financial transactions they do not want or cannot understand
Types of abuse
Types of abuse can include:
- Physical – for example, hitting, slapping, burning, pushing, restraining or giving too much medication or the wrong medication.
- Psychological – for example, shouting, swearing, frightening, blaming, ignoring or humiliating.
- Financial – for example the illegal or unauthorised use of a person’s property, money, pension book or other valuables.
- Sexual – for example, forcing a person to take part in sexual activity without consent.
- Neglect or acts of omission – for example, where a person is deprived of food, heat, clothing, comfort or medication.
- Discrimination, including slurs or similar treatment on the ground of a person race, gender and gender identity, age disability, sexual orientation or religion.
- Domestic abuse is when someone you are in a close relationship with behaves in a way that causes you physical, mental or emotional damage and through coercive and controlling behaviour.
- Modern slavery includes human trafficking, forced labour and domestic slavery.
- Organisational abuse includes neglect and poor practice within an institution, care setting or care provided in your own home.
- Self-Neglect – an adult at risk may also neglect themselves.
Any of these forms of abuse can be deliberate, or be the result of either ignorance, or lack of training, knowledge or understanding. Often if a person is being abused in one way they are also being abused in other ways.
The samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you.
As an independent charity, they work towards a world where people affected by crime or traumatic events get the support they need and the respect they deserve.
These work to protect and prevent the abuse of vulnerable older adults and by doing so we also protect other adults a risk of abuse
This is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf
The Herbert Protocol is an initiative introduced by West Yorkshire Police and other agencies which encourages carers to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing.