The term “abuse” can be subject to wide interpretation. It may be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act of neglect, or occur where a person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which they have not, or cannot consent.

Patterns of abuse vary and include:

  • serial abusing in which the perpetrator seeks out and ‘grooms’ individuals. Sexual abuse sometimes falls into this pattern as do some forms of financial abuse;
  • long-term abuse in the context of an ongoing family relationship such as domestic violence between spouses or generations or persistent psychological abuse; or
  • opportunistic abuse such as theft occurring because money or jewellery has been left lying around.

Incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple, and affect one person or more.

Abuse or neglect may be the result of deliberate intent, negligence or ignorance. Exploitation can be a common theme in the experience of abuse or neglect. Whilst it is acknowledged that abuse or neglect can take different forms, The Care Act identifies the following types of abuse or neglect:

  • Physical abuse;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Sexual abuse;
  • Psychological abuse;
  • Financial or material abuse;
  • Modern slavery;
  • Discriminatory abuse;
  • Organisational abuse;
  • Neglect and acts of omission;
  • Self-neglect.

The following descriptions of types of abuse and neglect can help decide whether you are at risk and who you can speak to.


Physical abuse includes assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, being locked in a room, inappropriate sanctions or force-feeding, inappropriate methods of restraint, and someone unlawfully depriving you of your liberty.

Suggested Helpline
Victim Support: 08081 689 111
Local Victim Support care team: 01926 682693

Alternatively you can click on the ‘Report It’ button for further details


Domestic violence is defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, your intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological, physical, sexual, financial, and emotional. This can include such things as forced marriage, honour-based violence and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Suggested Helpline
Refuge Warwickshire: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 0800 408 1552 (Mon-Fri 08:30-20:00; Sat 10:00-16:00)
Women’s Aid: 0808 2000 247 (for men experiencing abuse call 0808 801 0327)
Victim Support: 08081 689 111
Local Victim Support care team: 01926 682693
Karma Nirvana: 0800 5999247

Alternatively you can click on the ‘Report It’ button for further details


Sexual abuse including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which you have not consented or was pressured into consenting. It includes penetration of any sort, incest and situations where the person causing harm touches your body (e.g. breasts, buttocks, genital area), exposes his or her genitals (possibly encouraging the abused person to touch them) or coerces you into participating in or looking at pornographic videos or photographs. Denial of a sexual life to consenting adults is also considered abusive practice. Any sexual relationship that develops between adults where one is in a position of trust, power or authority in relation to the other (e.g. day centre worker/social worker/residential worker/health worker etc.) may also constitute sexual abuse.

Suggested Helpline
RoSA: 01788 551151
Safeline: 0808 800 5008
Blue Sky Centre: 02476 865 505

Alternatively you can click on the ‘Report It’ button for further details


Psychological abuse includes ‘emotional abuse’ and takes the form of threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, rejection, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, indifference, harassment, verbal abuse (including shouting or swearing), cyber bullying, isolation or withdrawal from services or support networks.

Suggested Helpline
LWA: 0300 365 0112

Alternatively you can click on the ‘Report It’ button for further details


This includes theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to your financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Suggested Helpline
Office of the Public Guardian: 0300 456 0300
Warwickshire Trading Standards: 03454 040506

Alternatively you can click on the ‘Report It’ button for further details


Modern Slavery encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced and compulsory labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

Suggested Helpline
Unseen UK: 08000 121 700
Care Quality Commission: 0300 3038 151

Alternatively you can click on the ‘Report It’ button for further details


This includes discrimination on the grounds of race, faith or religion, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation and political views, along with racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist comments or jokes, or comments and jokes based on a your disability or any other form of harassment, slur or similar treatment. Hate crime can be viewed as a form of discriminatory abuse, although will often involve other types of abuse as well. Someone excluding you from activities on the basis that you are ‘not liked’ is also discriminatory abuse.

For helplines, please click on the ‘Report It’ button for further details


Including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, or where care is provided within your own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.

Suggested Helpline
Care Quality Commission: 03000 616161

Alternatively you can click on the ‘Report It’ button for further details


These include someone ignoring your medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, and the withholding of the necessities of life such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating. Neglect also includes a failure to intervene in situations that are dangerous to you or to others, particularly if you may lack the mental capacity to assess risk for yourself.

Suggested Helpline
Care Quality Commission: 03000 616161

Alternatively you can click on the ‘Report It’ button for further details


Self-neglect covers a wide range of behaviour, neglecting to care for your own personal hygiene; health or surroundings and can include behaviour such as hoarding. Self-neglect is also defined as the inability (intentional or non-intentional) to maintain a socially and culturally accepted standard of self-care with the potential for serious consequences to the health and well-being of yourself and sometimes to your community.

Suggested Helpline
Samaritans: 116 123
Hoarding UK: 020 3239 1600

Alternatively you can click on the ‘Report It’ button for further details

 

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