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What is abuse?

Abuse takes many forms. It includes:

  • any form of harm such as:
    • hitting, injuring or restraining
    • threatening, intimidating or humiliating
    • sexual attention or activity that is not wanted
    • keeping someone on their own
  • any form of neglect such as:
    • not giving the correct medicine
    • not providing food or clothing
    • not arranging the right care
  • financial abuse such as:
    • stealing or misusing money or property
    • pressure about wills or inheritance
  • discrimination such as treating someone less favourably because of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, disability or sexual orientation
  • domestic violence and abuse we have further information about domestic violence and abuse

Abuse can happen anywhere - at home, in a care home, hospital or day centre or in public.

Who is at risk?

People may be at risk of abuse if they:

  • depend on other people for their care
  • are older, frail and unable to protect themselves
  • have mental health problems
  • have a physical or learning disability
  • have serious sight or hearing impairment
  • have dementia
  • misuse alcohol or drugs
  • have a long-term illness

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