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Definition of Abuse


What is abuse?

Abuse is something that is done to another person, without their full understanding or consent, which harms them in some way. This may consist of a single act or repeated acts.

Abuse can include one or more of the following definitions: 

  • Physical Abuse,  includes hitting, pinching, deliberately giving too much medication or physically restraining someone in an inappropriate way
  • Financial Abuse, which includes taking another person's money or possessions  - for example, having money or property stolen, being pressured into giving people money or changing a will, misuse of benefits, not being allowed any access to money.
  • Sexual Abuse, which includes any sexual act to which the vulnerable adult or child has not consented and may not understand. For example, being touched or kissed when it is not wanted, being made to touch or kiss someone else, being raped, being made to listen to sexual comments or forced to look at sexual acts or materials
  • Psychological Abuse. This can happen where someone is isolated, verbally abused or threatened.
  • Neglect, which includes ignoring or withholding physical or medical care needs. Examples are failing to provide appropriate food, shelter, heating, clothing, medical care, hygiene, personal care; inappropriate use of medication or over-medication.