Types of abuse and neglect

The Care Act 2014 identifies ten categories of abuse and neglect, these are:

Physical abuse

  • assault
  • hitting
  • slapping
  • pushing
  • misuse of medication
  • restraint
  • inappropriate physical sanctions

Domestic violence

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional abuse
  • honour based violence

Sexual abuse

  • rape
  • indecent exposure
  • sexual harassment
  • inappropriate looking or touching
  • sexual teasing or innuendo
  • sexual photography
  • subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts
  • indecent exposure
  • sexual assault
  • sexual acts to which the adult has not consented
  • sexual acts where the adult felt pressure to consent

Psychological abuse

  • emotional abuse
  • threats of harm or abandonment
  • deprivation of contact
  • humiliation
  • blaming
  • controlling
  • intimidation
  • coercion
  • harassment
  • verbal abuse
  • cyber bullying
  • isolation
  • unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks

Financial or material abuse

  • theft
  • fraud
  • internet scamming
  • coercion (including wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions)
  • the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits

Modern slavery encompasses

  • slavery
  • human trafficking
  • forced labour and domestic servitude
  • traffickers and slave masters forcing individuals into a life of slavery

Discriminatory abuse

  • harassment
  • slurs or similar treatment
  • racism
  • gender and gender identity
  • ageism
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • religion

Organisational abuse     

  • neglect and poor care practice (one off incidents or ongoing ill-treatment)
  • neglect as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation

Neglect and acts of omission

  • ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs
  • failure to provide access to appropriate health, support or educational services
  • the withholding of the necessities of life (medication, heating, food)


  • neglecting to care for personal hygiene
  • neglecting to care for personal health
  • neglecting to care for personal surroundings (including hoarding)


Contact Adult Social Care

There are many ways to contact the adult social care team, both online and over the phone.

We encourage people who can contact us online to do so, as it helps to free up phone lines for emergencies or for those who don't have access to or the skills to use computers.

Contact Adult Social Care

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