Safeguarding Adults - What is Abuse?
The government defines abuse as: ‘The violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons’
An Adult At Risk is:
'Any person over the age of 18 years who is unable to look after their own well being, property, rights or other interests; and is at risk of harm (either from another person’s behaviour or from their own behaviour); and because they have a disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity, are more vulnerable to being harmed than other adults.'
Abuse can take many forms, including:
- Physical abuse
- Neglect (and acts of omission such as withholding food or medicine)
- Psychological abuse (bullying, threats, emotional blackmail, etc.)
- Sexual abuse
- Financial or material abuse (theft or misappropriation of money or possessions)
- Discrimination (racist, sexist, homophobic, disability abuse, etc.)
- Institutional abuse (inappropriate care given by an organisation)
- Hate Crime
- Domestic Abuse
Abuse can occur in any personal relationship, or any situation where a service is being given, including formal or informal caregivers, or by a person who has power or influence over the life of a dependent adult.
The abuse could be a single act, or repeated acts over a period of time. It may take place because of a failure to act, or a failure to carry out appropriate care tasks. It may happen to one person, or several people at the same time.