Adult Safeguarding - Raising a Concern and the Decision Making Tool (DMT)

 MK Together has developed a Decision Making Tool to make it clearer and easier for people to understand what a safeguarding concern is and what to do with a concern.

Psychological Abuse

This is the ongoing psychological/emotional maltreatment of an adult.


  • Isolated incident where an adult is spoken to in a rude or inappropriate way – respect is undermined but no or little distress caused
  • Occasional taunts or verbal outbursts which do not cause distress between people


  • Treatment that undermines dignity and damages esteem
  • Repeated incidents of denying or failing to recognise an adult’s choices or of failing to value their opinion, particularly in relation to a service or care they’re receiving
  • Occasional taunts or verbal outbursts which do cause distress between people using a service
  • Encouragement or inducement to adopt an extreme ideology/ideologies


  • Denial of basic human rights/civil liberties, over-riding advance directive, forced marriage, ‘honour based’ violence and Female Genital Mutilation
  • Prolonged intimidation
  • Vicious/personalised verbal attacks
  • Humiliation of an adult
  • Emotional blackmail e.g. threats of abandonment/ harm
  • The withholding of information to dis-empower
  • Allegations or concerns relating to ‘cuckooing’
  • Concerns about, or signs of, someone becoming radicalised

Last Updated: 7 December 2021