What is Abuse?

Everyone has the right to live in safety, free from any form of abuse and neglect. Abuse can take many forms and can be carried out by one or more person/s who abuse another person or a group of persons. We are speaking about neglect for example, if someone who is meant to (paid or not) look after another person’s health or social care needs, but does not do so, as much as is required. This can threaten the well-being and safety of the ‘neglected’ person. A person might also self-neglect themselves, because of loosing the ability to look after themselves as needed.

Abuse and/or neglect are a violation of a person’s basic human rights and are unacceptable in any form and in any situation.


The types of abuse

The Care and Support statutory guidance identifies ten different types of abuse, but also emphasises that organisations should not limit their view of what constitutes abuse or neglect.  The specific circumstances of an individual case should always be considered in the context of the individual.

Click on each of the below bullet points, who are all directing to the website of the ‘Social Care Institute for Excellence’ (SCIE), to find out further examples of abuse in each of the ten categories:

Who do Adult Safeguarding duties apply to?

In the context of the Care Act 2014, specific adult safeguarding duties apply to any adult who:

  • Has care and support needs
  • Is experiencing, or is at risk of abuse or neglect
  • Is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect, because of those needs

Where does abuse happen?

Abuse can happen anywhere, for example in someone’s own home, in a public place, in hospital, in a care home or in college.  It can take place when an adult lives alone or with others.  It may be a single act or take place over a longer period of time.


Who can abuse and neglect adults?

Anyone can perpetrate abuse or neglect, including, but not limited to:

  • Spouses/Partners
  • Family or wider family members
  • Neighbours
  • Friends
  • Acquaintances
  • Local residents
  • People who deliberately exploit adults they perceive as vulnerable to abuse
  • Paid staff or professionals and volunteers
  • Strangers


How to report abuse?

Concerned members of the public or professionals can contact Hillingdon Social Care Direct on 01895 556633 or e-mail or complete the Safeguarding Adult Alert Form.


Support when experiencing abuse

If you are a victim of abuse or neglect, or if you know someone you think might be at risk of abuse or has been abused or neglected, it is important to get help! Consider the following resources:

  • The Police – call 999 (if the situation is an emergency and there might be risk to life or health. Call the police on 101 if not an emergency
  • Hillingdon Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) – call 020 8246 1745