Who is most likely to be abused or neglected?

Anyone can be mistreated, exploited or abused at some time in their lives but some people are particularly prone to these things because they are seen as being easy to take advantage of. This may be because they are aged, confused, have learning disabilities, physical impairments, mental health issues, poor mobility or a degree of deafness or blindness.  Similarly, people or groups who are in a minority because of their appearance, behaviour or beliefs, can attract harassment and antisocial behaviour.

Who abuses, who neglects?                   

We don't have to be unscrupulous to mistreat the more vulnerable members of our society. Simple failure to acknowledge people as individuals or to recognise their past and present contribution to family and society is seriously disrespectful and can lead to a breach of human rights, particularly when they are in need of support; whether it be in group or independent accommodation, being treated as a less than whole person can have seriously detrimental consequences for their health, independence and wellbeing. Similarly, failure to recognise care needs is neglectful, albeit unintentional perhaps, and deliberately depriving someone of care identified as a need, is neglect.

Many people with care or support needs have family members or intimate partners involved in meeting those needs. Where there is a care support element to the relationship, this can change the balance of power; shifting control and making either party particularly vulnerable to the risk of abuse or neglect by the other.

How can I prevent mistreatment or neglect to myself or to others?

To be able to avoid harm or neglect, you need to:

  1. Be aware of the risks you face in daily circumstances, when undertaking certain activities, joining particular groups, disclosing personal information or as a result of making any other choices and decisions.
  2. You also need to know your rights and the supports and benefits available to help you.
  3. You need to develop your ability to keep yourself safe and reduce the likelihood of someone seeing you as someone to exploit or someone whose needs can be ignored or given little importance.
  4. You need to know who and where to report concerns quickly about actual or potential mistreatment or neglect so that it can be stopped.

Adult Social Care Direct

Speech impairment, deaf or hard of hearing? You can call using Next Generation Text (also known as Text Relay and TypeTalk): Call 18001 024 7683 3003

Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street

Telephone: 024 7683 3003