What is abuse?

It is important that we do not limit our view of what constitutes abuse or neglect, as they can take many forms and the circumstances of the individual case should always be considered.  However, the sort of behaviour which it might include could give rise to a safeguarding concern:

  • Physical abuse, such as hitting, pushing or locking someone in a room
  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional abuse, such as bullying, taunting or humiliating someone
  • Domestic violence and abuse
    NB. West Cheshire’s Domestic Violence and Abuse Strategy 2016-20 can be accessed through the Other Types of Concerns tab at the top of the screen
  • Sexual abuse, such as inappropriate touching or forcing someone to take part in any sexual act against their will
  • Psychological abuse
  • Financial or material abuse, such as misusing, withholding or taking someone’s money
  • Discriminatory abuse, such as ill-treatment due to someone’s age, gender, disability or religious beliefs
  • Neglect and acts of omission, such as not providing necessary food, care or medicine.

Some instances of abuse will constitute a criminal offence which may lead to criminal proceedings, and appropriate intervention must take this into account.  In all cases, priority must be given to ensuring the safety and care of the adult(s) at risk – and, as appropriate, action will be co-ordinated with the police and other relevant authorities.