Types of abuse

There are many types of abusive behaviour, some of which are difficult to spot. Abuse can include:

  • Physical abuse - including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
  • Domestic violence – abuse that takes place between family members or intimate partners regardless of gender or sexuality. It can include psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse and so called ‘honour’ based violence.
  • Sexual abuse – any sexual act that a person does not agree to.
  • Psychological or emotional – this is when someone makes threats of harm, abandonment, humiliation, intimidation or verbal abuse.
  • Financial - this include stealing someone’s money or denying them access to their money, property or possessions.
  • Neglect or acts of omission – this can be both physical and emotional. It could be failing to keep an adult at risk clean or warm, not promoting optimum health, not providing adequate nutrition or medication. It could also mean preventing someone from making their own choices.
  • Self-neglect - covers a wide range of behaviour including neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
  • Discriminatory - abusive remarks or actions relating to a person’s age, race, religion, sex or abilities.
  • Organisational abuse - this happens when the routines in use force residents or service users to sacrifice their own needs, wishes or preferred lifestyle to the needs of the institution or service provider.
  • Modern slavery – such as human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude.