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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Abuse - Article 3 - What is Abuse

If you see it, or suspect it the worst thing you could do is not report it
What is Abuse?

There are many different types of abuse and they all result in behaviour towards a person that deliberately or unintentionally causes harm. It is a violation of an individual's human and civil rights and in the worst cases can result in death.

Examples of Abuse are - 
  • Physical abuse -  may include hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, pinching or scratching. 
  • Psychological abuse - may include intimidation e.g threats of physical harm, shouting, swearing, name calling, racist comments, deprived of normal activities or contact, humiliation, indifference, emotional blackmail. 
  • Sexual Abuse - includes rape, sexual assault, unwanted sexual acts, sexual acts with person unable to give consent, subject to indecent exposure or teasing or innuendo. 
  • Financial or material abuse - theft, fraud, extortion, gaining access to persons, funds or possessions. 
  • Neglect and acts of omission - deliberate withholding of , or unintentional failure to provide care and support. 
  • Discriminatory abuse - oppressive and prejudicial attitudes towards a person's disability, age, race religion sexual orientations. 
  • Multiple or institutional abuse which includes an abusive regime or culture, ignoring a person's needs and wishes, misuse of professional power and control. 
  • Professional abuse is the misuse of therapeutic power and abuse of trust by professionals, the failure of professionals to act on suspected abuse/crimes, poor practice or neglect in services. 

Cases of abuse can result in criminal prosecutions and action being taken in the courts such as the Court of Protection. 

Victims may suffer severe neglect, injury, distress and depression. People without capacity, e.g. people with severe dementia, are particularly vulnerable and there is additional legal protection for such people under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Abuse is mistreatment by any other person or persons that violates a person's human and civil rights. The abuse can vary, from treating someone with disrespect in a way that significantly affects the person's quality of life, to causing actual physical or mental suffering.
Abuse can happen anywhere:
  • in a person's own home
  • in a residential or nursing home
  • in a hospital
  • in the workplace
  • at a day centre or educational establishment
  • in supported housing
  • in the street
The person responsible for the abuse is often well known to the person being abused, and could be:
  • a paid carer in a residential establishment or from a home care service
  • a social care worker, health worker, nurse, doctor or therapist
  • a relative, friend, or neighbour
  • another resident or person using a service in a shared care setting
  • someone providing a support service
  • a person employed directly by someone in their own home as a carer or a personal assistant
Others are strangers who:
  • befriend vulnerable people with the intention of exploiting them
  • deceive people into believing they are from legitimate businesses, services or utility providers
  • intimidate vulnerable people into financial transactions they do not want or cannot understand
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