Cheshire East
Safeguarding Adults Board

What is abuse


  • can be a violation on individuals' human or civil rights by another person or persons
  • may consist of a single act or repeated acts
  • can occur in any relationship or setting
  • may result in harm to, or serious exploitation of, the person subjected to it

Who does it?

Sadly it can be anyone including ones nearest and dearest.

Research by Action on Elder Abuse suggests that as many as one in eleven older people in the UK are mistreated or neglected by those they trust the most. Two thirds of these are abused by members of their own family. Care staff, too, can be abusers.

There are many examples of this, including those where the abusers have deliberately chosen to work in environments where there will be adults at risk, such as those with learning disabilities.

Any types of abuse may be carried out as the result of deliberate actions, negligence or ignorance.

Where can it happen?

Abuse can happen anywhere – in a person's home, in the street, in a residential or nursing home, at a day centre or resource centre, in a hospital or indeed any place where an adult at risk might be.

What can be classed as abuse?

  • Physical, including hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions
  • Sexual, including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the person has not consented or was pressured into consenting
  • Domestic abuse
  • Psychological, including emotional abuse, threats, humiliation, intimidation, verbal abuse
  • Financial or material, including theft, fraud, exploitation, the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
  • Neglect, including ignoring medical or physical care needs, the withholding of adequate food, heat, clothing and medication
  • Discriminatory, including racist, sexist, that are based on a person's disability, and other forms of similar treatment
  • Institutional abuse or mistreatment by a regime or by any individual within any building where care is provided
  • Hate crime
  • Slavery - Signs of slavery in the UK and elsewhere are often hidden, making it even harder to recognise victims around us

Worried about a child?

The safeguarding and protection of children is everyone's business. If there are concerns that a child or young person may be being abused, neglected, or exploited, action needs to be taken to investigate, stop, or prevent maltreatment. If you are worried about a child please contact the Cheshire East Safeguarding Childrens Partnership.