Abuse and How to Handle ten most common types

Abuse and How to Handle ten most common types

There are many types of abuse; some are well known and other less so. Here are the ten most common forms of abuse in safeguarding and how to deal with them.

Physical Abuse

By far the most visible form of abuse is physical abuse. This kind of abuse is condemned by almost everyone and it is estimated that one in four women are victims of this kind of abuse. The most common forms of abuse include hitting, throwing and scalding, even suffocation is on the list. Much of this abuse goes unnoticed or unreported. However if you are made aware of this with someone, you must remain supportive and assure them it is good that it is now out in the open.

Psychological Abuse

Physical abuse of often easily noticed, psychological abuse, however, is not so easily seen. Recently laws have been introduced making psychological abuse a criminal offence. However, it is still challenging to deal with as victims lack the confidence to come forward as a result of the abuse.

Little things such as calling someone fat or just putting them down can result in an emotional response triggering other issues. Safeguarding training will help careworkers see the signs of psychological abuse with things such as isolation and changes in appetite being noticed and acted upon.

Sexual abuse

There are almost half a million reported cases of sexual abuse every year; this is a far cry from the estimated number of all cases believed to exist. The biggest reason why only a percentage of cases are ever reported is that victims are afraid to report their abuser. Safeguarding in the case of sexual abuse does seem to fall short of the standards one would expect.

Safeguarding training around sexual abuse helps social care workers manage abuse better and more effectively. Sexual abuse has a broad spectrum of crimes that include forced sexual activity as well as sexual exploration or grooming of young or vulnerable people.


Normally associated with children the neglect of older people is also a common form of abuse. In most cases, neglect is caused by an adult, supervisor or caregiver failing to provide food, clothing or sufficient care. In adults and teenagers, this may be failing to provide proper health or sanitary care.

Safeguarding training teaches people how to deal with psychological side effects of neglect, teaching patience above all as many people, especially teens, open up slowly or with difficulty.


In society today, self-neglect is growing and is a challenging form of abuse to treat and manage. The common or noticeable signs of self-neglect are poor personal hygiene, disregard to personal health issues and in some cases hoarding or obsessional behaviour. Self-neglect is difficult for anyone to admit, however, safeguarding training helps carers understand the needs of those they are caring for. For many people, self-neglect becomes a lifestyle choice and careful attention is needed to avoid long-term harm to the patient

Financial or Material Abuse

Rarely spoken about, Financial and material abuse is akin to identity theft. There are small cases where a person’s bank cards have been abused when details are entrusted to a caregiver, but there are also cases where entire estates have been lost via a power of attorney.

The elderly are often the main victims of this kind of abuse, but that is not to say younger people are not equally vulnerable. Because this abuse is somewhat secretive due to a lack of reporting, safeguarding training gives a clear overview and trains caregivers on how to deal with cases.

Discriminatory abuse

Hate crime is on the rise in many places in many cities. Brexit has seen hate crimes increase dramatically and yet the real driver behind this kind of abuse is something that is deeply ingrained in society.  People become marginalised by race and religion or just in who or what they like or do not like and/or agree with and thus discriminatory abuse grows as cultural diversity grows.

Safeguarding training helps people learn that holding someone back from beliefs or a way of doing things may well be abuse and the training helps caregivers begin to create a far more inclusive society around them.

Organisational Abuse

Abuse of power is care homes, pupil referral units and other institutions often come from those entrusted most to provide care. Many people in a variety of institutions are let down by the system that was created to help and care for them.

Safeguarding training is vital in combatting organisational abuse. Not only does it help caregivers understand what organisational abuse is but it also teaches them to spot other staff or even managers who show a tendency for this kind of abuse.

Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse covers all of the above examples of common abuse and is far more common than many would imagine. Estimates suggest that over 2 million people suffer some form of domestic abuse every year.

Safeguarding training teaches a person to notice and understand the signs of domestic abuse and equip them with the knowledge to help prevent a relationship reaching a crisis point and thus protecting and saving lives.

Modern Slavery

Human trafficking is happening on a greater scale than ever before. It happens without many noticing and happens right on our own doorsteps. People, young and old, are often convinced to be trafficked as it is their only means of escape from something that they feel is far worse.

Modern slavery is extremely prominent and difficult to remove from societies all over the world. Safeguarding training can help combat this horrific form of abuse and sheds light on an area of abuse that few people truly understand.

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