Types of Abuse/Signs & Symptoms

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Types of Abuse/Signs & Symptoms

'No Secrets' identifies categories of abuse. They are:

Physical Abuse
Abusive Action Signs & Symptoms
Hitting. Slapping. Pushing. Kicking.
Misuse of medication. Restraint.
Inappropriate sanctions.
Series of unexplained falls or major
injuries. Injuries/bruises at different
stages of healing. Bruising in unusual
sites e.g. inner arms, thighs.
Abrasions. Teeth indentations.
Injuries to head or face. Client very

Sexual Abuse
Abusive Action Signs & Symptoms
Including rape and sexual assault or
sexual acts to which the vulnerable
adult has not consented, or could
consent, or was pressured into
Change in behaviour. Overt sexual
behaviour or language. Difficulty in
walking, sitting. Injuries to genital
and/or anal area.

Abusive Action Signs & Symptoms
Includes acts of omission. Ignoring
physical or medical care needs.
Failure to provide access to
appropriate health, social care or
educational services. Withholding
necessities of life e.g. medications,
nutrition, heating.
Absence of food, heat, hygiene,
clothing, comfort. Preventing client to
have access to services. Isolation.
Absence of prescribed medication.

Psychological Abuse
Abusive Action Signs & Symptoms
Emotional abuse. Threats of harm or
abandonment. Deprivation of
contact. Humiliation, blaming,
controlling, intimidation, coercion,
harassment, verbal abuse, isolation
or withdrawal from services or
supportive networks.
Withdrawal, depression. Cowering
and fearfulness. Change in sleep
patterns. Agitation, confusion,
change in behaviour. Change in

Financial Abuse
Abuse Action Signs & Symptoms
Theft, fraud, exploitation. Pressure in
connection with wills, property,
inheritance or financial transactions.
Misuse or misappropriation of
property, possessions or benefits.
Unpaid bills. Basic needs not being
met. lack of cash on day to day

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