Search Our Site

We have 3,115,473 registered online learners.
632 new learners so far today.

Ten types of abuse you should be aware of

schedule 10th April 2018 by Felicity Bagshaw in Safeguarding

Ten_types_of_abuse_you_should_be_aware_of

Whilst it is not always easy to identify if abuse is occurring, by having an understanding of the categories and the indicators, earlier intervention can be applied. No matter the age, gender, socioeconomic status, education or ethnicity, it is important to recognise that anyone can become a victim of abuse.

Abuse is most commonly understood as a pattern of behaviour intended to establish and maintain control over family, household members, intimate partners, colleagues, individuals or groups. Let’s look at each category and some of the indicators in more detail.

Discriminatory

Discriminatory abuse may occur due to:

  • Race or religion
  • Gender or gender identity
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sexual orientation

Indicators of discriminatory abuse may include:

  • Change in behaviour – anger, fear, frustration, anxiety and loss of self esteem
  • Become withdrawn or isolated

Indicators may also come in the form of:

  • Criminal damage to property
  • Derogatory comments, verbal or physical abuse in public places
  • Harassment
  • Hate mail, trolling on social media

Psychological

Psychological abuse sometimes referred to as emotional abuse, can include the following:

  • Prevention of making choices or expressing their opinions
  • Forced social isolation; not allowed to see friends, access education
  • Denying access to mobility or communication aids
  • Use of threats, fear or bribes
  • Prevention of accessing services
  • Cyber bullying
  • Intimidation, humiliation, bullying, threats, harassment or verbal abuse

Indicators may include:

  • Low self esteem
  • Change in behaviour around their abuser
  • Change in behaviour – become uncooperative, aggressive, tearful, angry, withdrawn
  • Change in appetite – unusual weight loss or gain

Financial or material

This type of abuse can include:

  • Theft of possessions, money or misuse of benefits
  • Fraud
  • Scams – internet, cold callers, rogue traders
  • Misuse of power of attorney or other legal authority or coercion in relation to financial affairs
  • False use of another person’s bank account

Indicators may include:

  • Inability to pay bills or financial hardship
  • Unaccounted withdrawal of money from back accounts
  • Sudden change in wills or deeds to a house or property
  • Personal items going missing
  • Unnecessary property repairs or purchases

Organisational

Organisational abuse, also known as institutional abuse, may occur in residential and nursing homes, hospitals, day care centres of sheltered housing and can include:

  • Lack of care, neglect and respect for dignity and privacy
  • Poor professional practice due to inadequate structures, policies and procedures
  • Discouragement of visitor
  • Inadequate provision of food and drink, including the assistance with eating
  • Misuse of medication
  • Failure to respond to complaints

Indicators may include:

  • Lack of personal belongs and clothing
  • Rigid routines with no option of flexibility
  • Unnecessary medical procedures such as; catheterisation
  • Loss of weight, hunger or dehydration
  • Inadequate care plans and care standards

Neglect and acts of omission

This type of abuse can include:

  • Absence of emotional, physical or medical health care
  • Withholding of basic necessities such as; nutrition, heating and medication
  • Isolation

Indicators can include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Lack of basic necessities such as; food, heating, lighting and adequate clothing
  • Isolation
  • Poor physical condition or personal hygiene
  • Pressure sores or ulcers
  • Untaken medication

Physical

Physical abuse is when there are injuries with no satisfactory explanation of how it has occurred. The different types can include:

  • Assault – hitting, slapping, kicking, pinching, punching
  • Physical punishments
  • Force feeding or lack of feeding
  • Inappropriate use of restraint or restricting movement
  • Misuse of medication
  • Involuntary isolation
  • Purposefully making conditions uncomfortable, such as; lack of warm bedding

Indicators may include:

  • Unexplained bruising, burns, cuts or marks, especially in well protected areas of the body
  • Weight loss due to malnutrition
  • Subdued or behavioural changes, especially around the abuser
  • Frequent injuries
  • Failure to seek medical treatment

Sexual

Sexual abuse can include:

  • Any sexual activity that is not consensual
  • Rape, attempted rape or sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, sexual teasing or innuendos
  • Indecent exposure
  • Sexual photography or forced use of pornography

Indicators can include:

  • Change in usual behaviour
  • Bruising, particularly to the thighs, upper arms, neck and buttocks
  • Bleeding, pain or itching in the genital area
  • Difficulty walking
  • Sudden onset of confusion, incontinence or soiling
  • Overt sexual behaviour/language which is out of character
  • Sexually transmitted disease or infections
  • Torn or stained underwear
  • Agitation when being bathed
  • Pregnancy in a person unable to consent

Domestic

Domestic abuse can include the following:

  • Physical violence
  • Psychological and emotional abuse; undermining an individual’s self-confidence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • So call ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage

Indicators may include:

  • Criticism and verbal abuse
  • Isolation – preventing contact with family and friends, and taking away means of communication
  • Low self-esteem
  • Evidence of physical abuse
  • Limited access to money
  • Unexplained long periods of absence from work or school

Modern slavery

This type of abuse can include:

  • Human trafficking
  • Domestic servitude and forced labour
  • Sexual exploitation, such as prostitution or pornography

Indicators may include:

  • Signs of physical or emotional abuse
  • Malnourished
  • Seeming to be under the control of others
  • Lack of personal belongings
  • Lack of identification documents
  • Fear or strangers, officials and law enforcement
  • Poor, cramped living conditions

Self-neglect

Self-neglect is when any adult fails to take care of himself or herself, and can include:

  • Very poor living conditions and lack of self-care
  • Not seeking medical attention for disease or illness
  • Unwillingness or inability to manage their personal affairs

Indicators can include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Dirty, unkempt appearance
  • Hoarding
  • Living in squalid conditions, failing to complete or report repairs
  • Unwillingness to allow people into their property
  • Lack of essential food and clothing
  • Unwilling to seek medical assistance or take medication

We all have a role to play in protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from all forms of abuse. Many people do not act because they’re worried about being wrong. Remember, you don’t have to be absolutely certain; if you’re concerned someone is being abused or their safety is at risk, speak to someone.

For more information on how Virtual College can support your organisation, please contact Felicity Bagshaw at salesteam@virtual-college.co.uk

Virtual College logo

Author: Felicity Bagshaw

Felicity is a Learning Technology Consultant who specialises in safeguarding training and developing digital learning solutions that create change and make an impact. Felicity is passionate about using technology for good and regularly highlights the role which learning technologies can play in making positive changes to working culture.

CPD
Investors
ISO 9001:2015
Microsoft
European Union European Social Fund

Contact

+44 (0)1943 605 976

info@virtual-college.co.uk

Marsel House

Ilkley, West Yorkshire

LS29 8DD

Awards for footer
Gold and silver award winners at the Learning Technologies Awards 2017 - including gold for excellence in the design of learning content.
Live Chat

Click to chat

Login

We are in the process of moving to one Virtual College website. If you want to go back to a course, or start a course, bought from our old website then you may need to login to our original learning management system. Otherwise, please proceed to our new learning management system to return to your training.

LMS

You are already logged in. Click the button below to be taken to your LMS dashboard. Alternatively, click logout to leave the system.