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What is Abuse or Neglect?

Abuse can happen anywhere and can be carried out by anyone. This could be family, friends, neighbours, paid staff, carers or volunteers. It could also be other service users, tenants or strangers. The Care and Support Statutory Guidance identifies ten types of abuse, these are:

  • Physical abuse, such as hitting, pushing, locking someone in a room.
  • Domestic Violence or Abuse.
  • Sexual abuse, such as inappropriate touching, forcing someone to take part in any sexual act against their will.
  • Psychological or Emotional abuse, such as bullying, taunting or humiliating someone.
  • Financial or material abuse, such as misusing, withholding or taking someone’s money.
  • Modern Slavery, including Human Trafficking, Forced Labour, Domestic Servitude, Sexual Exploitation and Debt Bondage.
  • Discrimination such as ill treatment due to the person’s age, gender, disability or religious beliefs.
  • Organisational or Institutional abuse.
  • Neglect or acts of omission, such as not providing necessary food, care or medicine.
  • Self-Neglect, or Lack of self-care to an extent that it threatens personal health and safety.

See the link below for more details on each type of abuse:

Types of abuse: Safeguarding adults – SCIE

People who require care and support must be able to trust and depend on the people they rely on for help. No abuse is acceptable. Some abuse is a criminal offence and should be reported to the Police as soon as possible.


Signs and Indicators of Abuse

You may become concerned that someone is being abused in a number of ways:

  • the person may tell you
  • the person may say something that worries you
  • you may see something – an incident or an injury or other sign


What might cause concern?

You might see and/or hear something happen:

  • someone being bullied or intimidated
  • someone being made to feel frightened or unhappy
  • someone in a situation of unnecessary risk


The person might tell you or say something that worries you. Somebody might tell you something or say something that gives cause for concern, for example:

  • a colleague
  • family member
  • member of the public


There might be physical signs or unexplained or unusual injuries:

  • bruises
  • slap marks
  • black eyes
  • bleeding
  • burns or scalding
  • cigarette marks
  • torn, stained or bloodstained clothes


There may be other signs such as:

  • inappropriate dirty or soiled clothes
  • no food or drink available for the person
  • bills not being paid or services, e.g. telephone, cut off
  • shortage of money


The person might say things or behave in a way that causes you concerns:

  • the person may seem unhappy or distressed
  • the person may appear frightened, anxious or agitated without identifiable cause, or in relation to certain people
  • sleeping problems
  • constant visits to the toilet without a medical reason
  • other unexplained changes in how the person behaves


The behaviour of a colleague or other person:

  • dismissive or intolerant attitude
  • task/routine orientated rather than person focussed
  • not a team player; insists on doing tasks on their own or their way/secretive about contact with clients
  • oversteps their professional boundaries with clients and colleagues/overfriendly neglects professional development


You may not know. It is enough that you are worried.


Who might need safeguarding services?

A person with care and support needs, living in the Hampshire area who is at risk of, or experiencing, abuse or neglect and as a result of these needs is unable to protect themselves, will be able to access safeguarding support irrespective of their eligibility for services.

This may be a person who:


  • is elderly and frail due to ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment
  • has a learning disability
  • has a physical disability and/or a sensory impairment
  • has mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder
  • has a long-term illness/condition
  • misuses substances or alcohol
  • is a carer, (family member/friend) and is subject to abuse
  • does not have capacity to make a decision and is in need of care and support.