Physical abuse is causing someone physical harm, for example by hitting, pushing or kicking them, misusing medication, causing someone to be burnt or scalded, controlling what someone eats, restraining someone inappropriately, or depriving them of liberty.
Abuse or neglect can take many forms. The types of abuse are listed below with definitions and information to help you consider the actions you should take.
This includes misusing or stealing a person’s money or belongings, fraud, postal or internet scams, tricking people out of money, or pressuring a person into making decisions about their financial affairs, including decisions involving wills and property.
This involves not meeting a person’s physical, medical or emotional needs, either deliberately, or by failing to understand these. It includes ignoring a person’s needs, or not providing the person with essential things to meet their needs, such as medication, food, water, shelter and warmth.
If your concern is about a professional, consideration needs to be given about whether to report your concern to the professional’s employer or to their regulatory body.
Some incidents of neglect or omission, whilst important to consider and be noted, may not have caused any harm to the individual. In these cases, if this relates to services commissioned by the Local Authority, it may be more appropriate for the West Sussex Contracts team to be informed of the incident and this can be followed up via contract monitoring work (this is often referred to as the Quality Pathway).
For other incidents or situations it may be more appropriate to put in a formal complaint or to report the incident to a regulatory body (for example a report can be submitted to NHS England about a concern in respect of any NHS services).
This may involve a person being made to take part in sexual activity when they do not, or cannot, agree to this. It includes rape, indecent exposure, inappropriate looking or touching, or sexual activity where the other person is in a position of power or authority.
This includes being blamed or controlled by intimidation or fear, shouted at, ridiculed or bullied, threatened, or humiliated. It includes harassment, verbal abuse, abuse online or on a mobile phone, bullying and isolation.
Radicalisation could also be considered as psychological abuse if the individual has care and support needs.
If you believe that someone is at risk of radicalisation, please talk to the person about your concerns and then consider a referral to the ‘Channel Process’ .
If you believe there may be an immediate risk of harm due to radicalisation please contact the emergency services on 999.
This includes forms of harassment, ill-treatment, threats or insults because of a person’s race, age, culture, gender, gender identity, religion, sexuality, physical or learning disability, or mental-health needs. Discriminatory abuse can also be called ‘hate crime’.
This involves a person being unable, or unwilling, to care for their own essential needs, including their health or surroundings, for example, their home may be very unclean, or there may be a fire risk due to hoarding.
Some situations where individuals may present as self-neglecting, but are not, include:
- a customer’s health (physical or mental) has been deteriorating over several months, and the day-to-day tasks which they had been able to complete independently, are no longer possible. This has led the individual not to be able to wash, maintain their property, take medication etc.
- a customer expressing self-harm or suicidal thoughts
- a customer who was receiving support from a family member or friend, who is now not receiving this support and is struggling to manage
- a customer who has asked for support or agreed this is needed when it is suggested/offered
- a customer using illicit substances
- a customer who has made the decision (with capacity) not to continue with health treatment.
There are different ways to support someone who maybe at risk due to self-neglect, these should always be considered by professionals.
- Offering/encouraging someone to have an assessment of their needs undertaken
- Self Neglect Guidance
- Referral to the Safer and Habitable Homes forum ( link to follow when published)
- Referral to the Fire Service for a Safe and Well Visit
- Working with the individual under the Sussex Self-Neglect Policy.
Domestic abuse can be an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.
Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
- Psychological and/or emotional abuse
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Financial or economic abuse
- Harassment and stalking
- Online or digital abuse.
Domestic abuse section at westsussex.gov.uk which includes information on local support for people being abused.
Safe in Sussex - a registered charity providing help and support for people affected by domestic abuse in West Sussex.
My Sisters' House - a registered charity working across the coastal area of West Sussex, providing support to women in crisis or facing difficulties.
Veritas Justice - providing specialist support to victims of stalking, as well as supporting professionals to identify and understand stalking behaviours.
This includes slavery, a person being forced to work for little or no pay (including in the sex trade), being held against their will, tortured, abused or treated badly by others.
Modern slavery could be happening in your community so it’s important you know the signs that could indicate someone is a victim of this crime.
The signs are not always obvious but there are some that you may notice:
- does the person look scruffy, malnourished or injured?
- are they acting anxious, afraid or unable to make eye contact?
- are they working long hours, wearing unsuitable clothing or have the wrong equipment for the job?
- is where they are living overcrowded, poorly maintained or are the curtains always closed?
- do they behave like they are being instructed by someone else, picked up/dropped off at the same time and place every day, or is without access to money or identification?
Types of slavery
Types of modern slavery include:
Human trafficking – adults and children are traded so they can be exploited by others for commercial gain. Find out more about human trafficking.
Forced labour – victims are forced to work against their will, often working very long hours for little or no pay, in dire conditions, and under verbal or physical threats of violence to them or their families. It can happen in many sectors of the economy.
Sexual exploitation – victims are pressurised to perform non-consensual or abusive sexual acts, such as prostitution, escort work and pornography. Women and children make up the majority of victims, but men can also be affected.
Criminal exploitation – often controlled and maltreated, victims are forced into crimes such as cannabis cultivation or pickpocketing against their will. They may also have their benefits taken over by their exploiter.
Organ harvesting – the illegal removal of a person's internal organs which can then be sold.
To report a suspicion or seek advice you can contact the Modern Slavery Helpline confidentially on 08000 121 700. This is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year or follow this link for further guidance.
This includes neglect and providing poor care in a care setting such as a hospital or care home, or in a person’s own home. This may be a one-off incident, repeated incidents or on-going ill-treatment. It could be due to neglect or poor care because of the arrangements, processes and practices in an organisation.
If you have a concern about a service which is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), you can also contact them directly to give your feedback.