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What is adult abuse?

We all have the right to live our lives free from abuse. It is recognised that certain groups of people may be more likely to experience abuse and less able to access services or support to keep themselves safe. One such group is people with community care needs. This group may include people with:

  • a learning / physical / sensory disability
  • mental ill health or dementia
  • frailty due to age
  • acquired brain injury
  • a drug / alcohol problem
  • certain types of physical illness

Abuse can be:

  • Physical - such as hitting, slapping, rough handling, misuse of medication, misuse of restraint.
  • Sexual - making someone carry out a sexual act they have not or cannot consent to.
  • Psychological - such as threats or humiliation.
  • Financial - such as theft of money / possessions, misuse of someone's benefits.
  • Neglect - such as a carer not meeting a person's care or health needs.
  • Discriminatory - Any form of abuse based on discrimination because of a person's race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation etc.
  • Institutional - abuse or poor practice throughout an organisation.

Abuse can be perpetrated by anyone - relatives, partners, friends, care workers, or strangers - and can happen anywhere.

If you have any concerns about a vulnerable adult, please report them.