Safeguarding adults

Protecting people from abuse

What is abuse?

Abuse is something that is done to another person, without their full understanding or consent, that harms them in some way. It may consist of a single act or repeated acts.

Abuse can include one or more of the following:

Physical Abuse includes hitting, pinching, deliberately giving too much medication or physically restraining someone in an inappropriate way. For example, being locked in or force-fed.

Financial Abuse includes taking another person's money or possessions. For example, having money or property stolen, being pressured into giving people money or changing a will, misuse of benefits, not being allowed access to money.

Sexual Abuse includes any sexual act to which the vulnerable adult has not consented and may not understand. For example, being touched or kissed when it is not wanted, being made to touch or kiss someone else, being raped, being made to listen to sexual comments or forced to look at sexual acts or materials.

Psychological Abuse can happen where someone is isolated, verbally abused or threatened.

Discriminating Abuse includes any type of abuse aimed at a vulnerable adult because of their colour, religion, appearance or sexuality. For example, ignoring spiritual or religious beliefs, comments or jokes about a person's disability, age, race, sexual orientation, or gender / gender identity, ignoring cultural needs, for example diet or clothing.

Institutional Abuse can occurr in a social or health care establishment that may range from poor practice to ill treatment and gross misconduct. For example, lack of individual care, no flexibility of bedtimes or waking, deprived environment and lack of stimulation.

Mate Crime occurs when a person is harmed or taken advantage of by someone they thought was their friend. Read more about Mate Crime

Hate Crime is harassing, victimising, intimidating, bullying or abusing someone because of their race, faith, religion, disability or because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered. A hate crime can include physical attacks, harassment, threats, disputes with neighbours, people swearing at you or making abusive remarks, people doing things that frighten, intimidate or distress you.

Disability Hate Crime is when someone is being abused or harassed because they are disabled.