There are 10 types of abuse listed within the Care Act 2014

Physical abuse

Including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.

Domestic abuse

Including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence.

Sexual abuse

Including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography. Witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting. 

Psychological or emotional abuse

Including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.

Financial or material abuse

Including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult's financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Modern slavery

Encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

Discriminatory abuse

Including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Organisational abuse

Including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes or practices within an organisation.

Neglect and acts of omission

Including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.


This covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.


There are four additional types of abuse that are not included in The Care Act, but they are also relevant to safeguarding adults.

Cyber Bullying: this occurs when someone repeatedly makes fun or picks on someone through emails, text messages or online forums.

Forced Marriage: this is a marriage in which one or both parties are married without consent or against their will.

Mate Crime: this is when vulnerable people are befriended by members of the community who go on to exploit and take advantage of them.

Radicalisation: The aim of radicalisation is to inspire new recruits, embed extreme views and persuade vulnerable adults to the legitimacy of a cause.

Individuals who, because of their circumstance, experiences or state of mind can be lead towards a terrorist ideology. Individuals can be drawn towards the process of radicalisation in a number of ways.

If you are worried about someone being drawn into extremism or becoming radicalised, signs to look for include:

• Being drawn into to strong principles and ideologies held by others, as a means to control
• Social network involvement in extremism
• Being at a transitional time in life
• Having a need for identity, meaning and belonging
• Being influenced or controlled by a groups
• Feelings of grievance and injustice
• Feeling under threat
• Displaying mental health concerns
• A desire for status
• A desire for excitement or adventure
• A need to dominate and control others.

Find out more about safeguarding people who may be susceptible to radicalisation on the Let's Talk About It website.