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Types of Abuse

Physical Abuse

Being hit, slapped, pushed or injured on purpose. The adult could be in pain, have bruises or injuries that cannot be reasonably explained and be fearful and withdrawn.

Neglect and acts of omission

Medical, emotional or physical care needs being ignored; being left in wet or dirty clothes, hungry, ill but not receiving medical attention. Being ignored when calling for assistance.

Financial or material abuse

Theft, fraud, internet scamming, pressure to buy or accept services, coercion in relation to money, including wills or inheritance. Can result in items disappearing from the home; unexplained withdrawals from the bank, unpaid bills and an unusual shortage of money.

Sexual Abuse

Involvement in a sexual activity which is unwanted or not understood, and to which the adult has not consented or was pressurised into consenting. Includes inappropriate touching, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts. There may be an unexpected change in the adult’s behaviour and signs of physical discomfort.


When an adult is not taking care of their personal hygiene, health or surrounds and/or hoarding. They may not be changing their clothes; their home may be increasingly cluttered.

Domestic abuse

Any incident(or pattern) of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour or violence between those aged 16 or over, who are/were intimate partners or family members. Includes Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The adult may have unexplained bruising and be in pain; fearful and isolated.


Includes emotional abuse, threats of humiliation, intimidation, harassment, verbal abuse or isolation. This is harmful to a person’s emotional health and well-being. The adult may be fearful, withdrawn and confused.

Modern Slavery

Includes slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Includes victims that have been brought from overseas and vulnerable people in the UK. The adult may be working but gets little or no payment for the work, not have access to their passport and their movements are closely monitored and restricted. They may have been harmed or deprived of food, water, sleep, medical care or social interaction.

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Discriminatory Abuse

Experienced as harassment, insults or similar actions due to race, religion, gender, gender identity, age, disability or sexual orientation.

Organisational abuse

Poor or inadequate care and support due to systematic poor practice and neglect in a care setting. Individual needs or wishes are ignored due to inflexible systems or routines. For example, little choice available about time to get up in the morning or diet. People may be unkempt.

To raise a concern about abuse or neglect, please use the online form.