Physical abuse – one person causing contact to another person’s body

Physical abuse – one person causing contact to another person’s body, causing harm, pain, discomfort, injury or suffering. It includes hitting, kicking, punching, biting, slapping, and pushing, burning, scalding and even misuse of medication. Signs and symptoms include visible injuries and/or unexplained bruising, marks, cuts, scratches or grazes. There could be delays in reporting injuries or vague, inappropriate or implausible explanations. Perhaps multiple injuries or a history of injuries. Also, it can include non-visible signs like the person being depressed, passive or fearful.
Sexual abuse – one person forcing or threatening another person to engage in non-consensual sexual activity. It involves a victim under the age of consent or a victim incapable of consent. Signs and symptoms include a change in behaviour, for example becoming introverted when usually extrovert or extroverted when usually introvert, and/or overt sexual behaviour or language. Perhaps an unexplained difficulty in walking. Also, soreness around the genitals and/or torn or stained underwear. There could be a reluctance to be alone with a particular person.
Emotional/psychological abuse – one person causing another person to feel fearful or abandoned using control and manipulation tactics. For example, intimidation and/or threats like shouting and acting aggressively, or even criticism, like unpleasant remarks or sarcastic comments, usually lowering the victim’s confidence and self-esteem. Also, undermining behaviour like dismissing the victim’s opinion or ignoring them, or making the victim doubt them self by making them feel oversensitive. Usually making the victim feel guilty, either by sulking, silent treatment or outright emotional blackmail. Often telling the victim what they can or can’t do. Signs and symptoms include a change in behaviour, like changes in appetite, weight loss/weight gain, changes in sleep patterns, or sleeping little or lots. Sometimes includes mood changes like aggressiveness, depression, irritability and feeling agitated. Usually causing the victim to have low self-esteem and low confidence in themselves feeling withdrawn or conveying self-isolating behaviour.
Financial abuse – one person’s way of controlling another person’s capability to use and maintain their own money and financial resources. It can range from outright stealing to preventing the victim from accessing their own money/account. It can be insisting bills/benefits are in their name. It can even be stopping a person from going to work. It can also be defrauding or ‘scamming’, like putting the victim under pressure to part with their money/possessions. Signs and symptoms include an unexplained loss of money or inability to pay bills. It could be a sudden withdrawal of large amounts of money. Perhaps the sudden disappearance of valuable possessions or jewellery. Or the loss of pension books or bank/building society books.
Self-neglect – to understand self-neglect, we must first understand self-care, which includes adequate food and drink, rest, exercise, social interaction and daily living activities, like personal care and maintaining the house. So, self-neglect is the inability or failure to provide own self-care essential needs, generally not looking after oneself. Signs and symptoms include unsafe living conditions, unclean living environment, like no heating or hot water, loose wiring, no working toilet, hoarding behaviour, piles of rubbish. It can include poor personal hygiene, malnutrition, untreated medical conditions like skin conditions or pressure sores or incorrect/no medication, hearing aid or glasses.
Neglect by others – one person’s failure to care for another person properly. Signs and symptoms include a weakness or debilitation through dehydration or malnutrition or unexplained weight loss. Sometimes includes poor hygiene, dirty/unkempt appearance, clothes or surrounding or inappropriate dress. Very much the same signs and symptoms as self-neglect, but one person neglecting another person instead of neglecting oneself.
Institutional abuse – an institution is managed by an organisation or stranger to the family, like a care home, NHS facility or it can be carers visiting a service users own home. It can take the form of any of the abuse previously described (physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse or neglect) done by an employee or volunteer caring for the service user. This abuse can be one-off incidents or ongoing mistreatment.

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