Buckinghamshire Partnerships

What is abuse?

What is abuse?


Clip Image

People can be vulnerable for lots of different reasons. They may:

♦  be elderly or have dementia
♦  have a learning, physical or sensory difficulty
♦  have a mental health problem
♦  be ill and needing help temporarily

This could make them vulnerable to abuse.

Abuse can take place in any setting and can be carried out by anyone. It happens to people in all sections of society. Abuse is everyone’s business - you could be a neighbour, friend, relative or passer-by of someone being abused. You may feel that there is a situation in your life with which you are not comfortable; this could be a form of abuse.

Types of abuse

So how would you know whether you are being abused or not?  How can you spot if someone else is being abused?  There are various forms of abuse, which for some people could seem like normal daily life.  Here are some examples of different types of abuse:

Physical abuse including:  assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint, inappropriate physical sanctions

Domestic violence including: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse, so called ‘honour’ based violence

Sexual abuse including: rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure, sexual assault, sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting

Psychological abuse including: emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation, unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks

Financial or material abuse including: theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits

Modern slavery encompasses: slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude, traffickers and slave masters using whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment

Discriminatory abuse including forms of: harassment, slurs or similar treatment because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion

Organisational abuse including: neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home.

Neglect and acts of omission including: ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating

Self-neglect - This covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes hoarding.

(Care Act 2014, Care and Support statutory guidance, Department of Health, updated 24 March 2016)

What to do if you have concerns

If you are worried that abuse is happening to you or someone else,
tell someone!
If you or the person is in immediate danger you should call 999.

Concerns about an adult
If you have concerns about an adult call theSafeguarding Adults Team

Contacting us

    During office hours:
         9am - 5:30pm Monday to Thursday 
         9am - 5pm on Friday
         Tel: 0800 137 915

   Outside office hours
          Emergency Out of Hours
          Tel: 0800 999 7677


    E-mail safeguardingadults@buckscc.gov.uk
    Your local police station: 08458 505 505

Concerns about a child:  0845 460 0001

Who to contact if you are a professional

For more information call 01296 382178
E-mail safeguardingadults@buckscc.gov.uk