Abuse is when someone does or says things to you that make you upset or hurt you, or when they take things from you. You may not feel able to tell people to stop hurting you or to get help. Abuse is not your fault and it is always wrong.
Abuse is not always done on purpose. Sometimes someone who is ill may strike out and abuse the carer or the person helping them. Sometimes a carer may be totally exhausted, emotionally drained and unable to cope.
Physical abuse – This is when someone physically hurts you.
Emotional abuse – This is when people say bad things to hurt your feelings or shout at you. It can include people calling you names, threatening or ignoring you.
Sexual abuse – This is when someone makes you do sexual things that you don’t want to. It might be when someone touches you in places you don’t want them to or makes you touch them or have sex with them.
Financial abuse – This is when someone takes your money or possessions without asking or forces you to let them take things, or misuses your property, possessions or benefits. It can also be when you are not allowed to spend your own money how and when you want.
Neglect – This is when you are not being looked after properly. It can include being hungry, dirty or cold much of the time and not getting the support you need. It also includes not receiving appropriate health services and medication.
Discrimination – Everyone has the right to be treated equally and express and practice their beliefs and values. Discriminatory abuse is when someone picks on you or treats you unfairly because something about you is different. It might be because of your skin colour, a disability, your religion, gender, sexuality or your age.
Who might abuse you?
Anyone could abuse you. It could be someone you know or a stranger.
Where can it happen?
These kinds of abuse can take place anywhere, including in your own home or in institutions like care homes.
Here are some other places where abuse might happen:
at a day centre or college
at a club
in a hospital
Why is abuse bad?
Adult abuse can affect people in many ways. It can severely impact on an individual’s day to day functioning, causing helplessness and hopelessness, resulting in financial difficulties, increasing dependency and a deterioration in health, quality of life and well-being.