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What is Abuse?

What is Abuse?

The term abuse covers a wide range of actions such as a deliberate and intentionally unkind act, to someone who does not know how to act appropriately or correctly towards an individual, or someone who does not have the appropriate help and support.

It is important to prevent abuse. If someone suffers abuse, it is important that it is investigated.

Types of Abuse?

  • Sexual - rape, sexual assault, sexual acts without consent (for example of someone is not able to give their consent or if they are put under pressure)
  • Physical - slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, inappropriate punishments.
  • Verbal - emotional abuse, threats of harm, refusing contact with other people, intimidation.
  • Financial - theft, fraud, dishonest gain of property, possessions or benefits.
  • Neglect - ignoring the persons medical or physical care needs, failing to get healthcare or social care, withholding medication, food or heating.
  • Forced Marrage:

A Forced marriage happens without the full and free consent of both people. Force can include physical force, being emotionally pressurised, being threatened or being a victim of psychological abuse. Forced marriages are not the same as arranged marriages. In an arranged marriage families take the lead in selecting and introducing a marriage partner and the couple have free will and choice to accept or reject the arrangement.

  • Honour Based Violence:

This is when a person is punished by their family and/or community for behaving in a way that is believed to have brought shame or dishonour. This type of violence can be distinguished from other forms of violence, as it is often committed with some involvement or co-operation from the family and/or community.

Abuse is anything that goes against a persons human and civil rights. It can take place anywhere, such as their own home, a care home or a hospital.

If you suspect abuse visit this contact page for your Local Social Services Team contact information.

What will happen if I report abuse? 

Social Services will arrange an investigation in line with the procedures under the Wales Interim Policy and Procedures for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Abuse. This may involve several agencies, such as the Police and Health Services. Action will then be taken to ensure the vulnerable adult is protected in the future.

If you are not sure whether there is abuse taking place, it is still better to discuss your concerns with somebody who has the experience and responsibility to conduct an informed assessment than to ignore a situation which may result in someone who is vulnerable being harmed.