What is Abuse and Neglect?

Abuse is the ‘violation of an individual’s human or civil rights, through the act or actions of another person or persons.’

Neglect is a ‘failure to provide the necessary care, aid or guidance to dependent adults or children by those responsible for their care.’

Types of abuse may include:

  • Physical abuse - such as punching, hitting, slapping, burning etc.
  • Sexual abuse - forcing someone to take part in sexual activity against their will
  • Psychological or emotional abuse - threatening, harassing or intimidating a person
  • Constraints and restrictive practices - restraining or isolating people other than for medical necessity or to prevent immediate self-harm
  • Financial abuse - the wrongful use of another person's assets or denying a person the use of their own assets
  • Legal or civil abuse - denial of access to justice or legal systems that are available to other citizens
  • Systemic abuse - failure to recognise, provide or attempt to provide adequate or appropriate services, including services that are appropriate to that person’s age, gender, culture, needs or preferences.

Types of neglect may include:

  • Physical neglect - failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing and protection. Supervision medical or dental care that places people at undue risk through unsafe environments or practices
  • Passive neglect - withholding or failure to provide the necessities of life
  • Wilful deprivation - wilfully denying a person assistance and thereby exposing that person to the risk of physical, mental or emotional harm
  • Emotional neglect - restricting the social, intellectual and emotional growth or well-being of a person.

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