Types of abuse

Abuse is any event or pattern of events of controlling, forcing, threatening behaviour, or violence. Abuse can include:

Physical abuse

Hitting, slapping, kicking or hurting someone in another way.

Sexual abuse

This is when someone touches your private parts when you do not want them to or makes you touch them. It is also when someone talks to you about sex when you do not want them to.

Emotional or psychological abuse

This is when someone makes you feel upset, afraid or unimportant. This could be by someone shouting at you, teasing you, threats or calling you names.

Financial abuse

This is when someone takes something that belongs to you without asking or makes you give them things.


This is when you do not get the help you need. It could be that you are not getting help with your medication, care needs or that you are not being given enough food.

Self neglect

This is when a person might come to harm because they aren’t looking after themselves. This could be because of not taking their medication or not looking after their personal hygiene.

Discriminatory abuse

When someone treats you badly because you are different to them, this is known as discrimination. This could be because of your age. Gender, sexuality, disability, race or religious belief. This is sometimes called Hate Crime.

Organisational abuse

This is when abuse is caused by an organisation such as a care home or a hospital. They may be one off incidents or ongoing abuse.

Modern slavery

This is when someone is forced to work with little or no pay or, is threatened with violence if they do not work.

Domestic abuse

This is when abuse takes place between partners or family members. It is sometimes also called domestic violence.

Identifying and reporting abuse and neglect - DSAB animated film and accompanying leaflet

Keeping people safe from abuse and neglect is everyone's business.

Adults suffering from abuse and neglect can be harmed by someone they know, but they may be unable to report it because of disability, illness or because they are afraid. Abuse can happen in the adults home or a care establishment.

The Derbyshire Safeguarding Adults Board, in partnership with Derbyshire County Council, Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Derbyshire Police, have produced an animated film called ‘Identifying and reporting abuse and neglect’.  The film is available with subtitles in English, Polish, Romanian, Simplified Chinese and Urdu.  For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, there is a British Sign Language interpreter version.

To accompany the animated film, we have produced an adult safeguarding guide, which is attached to this page.