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What is abuse?

Abuse is mistreatment of another person, causing them harm, it can be intentional or unintentional. It usually happens by someone who is known to the adult, but it can be strangers and it often involves someone with power over another. It takes many different forms. The Care Act define ten different categories of abuse.

Types of Abuse

10 types of abuse from the Care Act;

  • Physical Abuse
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Psychological Abuse
  • Financial Abuse
  • Modern Slavery
  • Discriminatory Abuse
  • Organisational Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Self-neglect


Other types of abuse;

  • Elder Abuse
  • Honour Based Abuse
  • Radicalisation

Click here for more information on abuse types.



Who can be abused?

Anyone can be a victim of abuse, however some people may be more likely to be targeted including:

  • People with disabilities
  • Older people
  • People with mental health problems
  • People who are ill for a long time
  • People who are misusing drugs or alcohol


Who can be an abuser?

Anyone can be an abuser. Potential abusers can be:

  • Friends and family
  • Neighbours
  • Professionals, Carers, Volunteers
  • Strangers who ‘groom’ adults to abuse them


Where can abuse happen?

Abuse can happen anywhere. Potential areas where abuse can happen are:

  • at home
  • in someone else’s home
  • in a public place
  • on public transport
  • at college
  • at a day centre
  • residential homes
  • hospital