Staying safe

Types of abuse

There are many forms of abuse and neglect:

  • Domestic abuse is sometimes also referred to as domestic violence and can be defined as an incident or a pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse.
  • Financial abuse is the theft or misuse of money or personal possessions, which involves an individual's resources being used to the advantage of another person
  • Modern slavery is when a person is forced to work through mental or physical threat and are owned or controlled by an 'employer'.
  • Neglect is defined as not providing reasonable, appropriate or agreed care or a failure to act in a way that any reasonable person would act.
  • Organisational or institutional abuse is the mistreatment of people typically in their workplace brought about by poor or inadequate care or support, or systematic poor practice that affects the whole care setting.
  • Physical abuse can be defined as non-accidental harm to the body. Physical abuse can also occur when people are not provided with adequate care or support, causing them unjustifiable discomfort.
  • Psychological or emotional abuse is any action which has an adverse effect on an individual's mental well-being.
  • Sexual abuse is the involvement of people in sexual activities which they do not understand, they have not given consent to, or violate the sexual taboos of the individual, family customs or usual practices.
  • Self-neglect covers a wide range of behaviours, where a person isn't attending to their basic care and support needs. It includes issues such as personal hygiene, appropriate clothing, and feeding.
  • Discriminatory abuse may manifest itself as any of the other categories of abuse previously stated. What is distinctive, however, is that it is motivated by oppressive and discriminatory attitudes.