Abuse Explained – Adults
Everyone has the right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
Abuse and neglect can occur anywhere: in your own home or a public place, while you are in hospital or attending a day centre, or in a college or care home.
You may be living alone or with others. The person causing the harm may be a stranger but, more often than not, you’ll know and feel safe with them. They’re usually in a position of trust and power, such as a health or care professional, relative or neighbour. People with care and support needs, such as older people or people with disabilities, are more likely to be abused or neglected. They may be seen as an easy target and may be less likely to identify or report abuse themselves. People with communication difficulties can be particularly at risk because they may not be able to alert others. Sometimes people may not even be aware they are being abused, this is especially likely if they have a cognitive impairment. Abusers may try to prevent access to the person they abuse.
Signs of abuse can often be difficult to detect. The documents detailed in the “Explore Further” section aims to help those who come into contact with adults with care and support needs, to recognise possible indicators and identify abuse. Many types of abuse are criminal offences and should be treated as such.
Evidence of any one indicator should not be taken on its own as proof that abuse is occurring. However, it should alert practitioners and those who help adults with care and support needs, to make further assessments and to consider other associated factors. The list detailing types of possible abuse below is not exhaustive and people may be subject to a number of abuse types at the same time.
Neglect and acts of omission
Honour based abuse