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Types Of Abuse And Their Effects

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Physical Abuse
  3. Emotional abuse
  4. Neglect
  5. Sexual abuse
  6. Financial abuse


In this assignment, it will describe and explain the different types of abuse. Abuse is when someone is treated with violence or cruelty on a regular or daily basis. In this assignment neglect, physical, emotional, sexual, financial and domestic abuse will be touched upon. It will talk about the different signs, how people may have received these types of abuse, the effects and how you can prevent different types of abuse.

Neglect is when carers or employees fail to care for the service users, this could be in a care home, hospital or even in the service users own home. It can be the result of carelessness and unwillingness to want to look after the service user. An act of omission is the failure to act where there is a duty of care to a certain person or people. This is when someone purposely ignores their act of care for someone they may be caring for. It is also a breach of the Law. This is normally something that could lead to something as bad as a lawsuit. If the duty of care is Ignored, then the service user has a right to a lawsuit. Civil rights Is, something every single person has, it guarantees equal social rights and protection under the law no matter race, religion or any other characteristics a person may have. Examples of this are rights to a fair trial, education and voting. Legal rights are something that provides an opportunity to every single person, for example, the right to freedom and life, living life free of discrimination and control of their own decisions. Lastly, human rights are similar to legal rights is a right that belongs to every person. It is also the right to freedom, slavery and education to all.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is when someone acts in a way that may intentionally cause harm to another person. Social care institute for excellence. (2015). Types and indicators of abuse, Physical abuse. Some indicators of physical abuse are, scolding and burning, physical punishments, inappropriate or unlawful use of restraint or misuse of medication (force medicating). Washington state department of health and social care. (n.d). Types and signs of Abuse. Some signs of physical abuse are bruises, black eyes, broken bones, change in behaviours. More specifically to care the signs could be, a care givers refusal to allow visitors to see a vulnerable adult, laboratory findings of either overdose or underdose and even vulnerable adult’s sudden change in behaviour.

For example, a daughter goes to see her elderly mother in the care home she is living. Every time she’d move closer or touch her, she would flinch and push her away or move away, or even if every time a certain nurse would check in, she would become quiet and anxious. These are all signs that she could be being physically abused.

Bowditch, C. (2020). Suffocating and drowning is a common method of inflicting arm and abuse to victims. It causes panic for the victim and is enjoyable for the abuser. It also leaves no physical marks so is harder to prove. When abusing children on the other hand, abusers tend to go for the less noticeable places. Such as the inner legs, arms and bottom of the feet. Whipping feet is a common place for when abusers are busing children. Poisoning and force feeding, or medicating is a common abuse method.

As an example, an elderly man is living in a care home. His care worker’ is refusing to let his family come and visit him because he has bruises in his inner thighs and inner legs. She has told the staff members that the elderly man had fallen over and hurt himself. When asked by the family to see the elderly man she refuses to give the family a reason to why they cannot go and visit or even bring up the bruises. This is abuse, of both the care worker’s power and the service user. They are not giving the family or the service user right to see their family. Another example of this would be a parent hitting, not feeding their child, could be them refusing to give them clean clothes or a bed to sleep in. This is taking away the things every person should have access to.

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse can involve any of the following:

Verbal abuse: yelling at you, insulting or swearing at you. Rejection: constantly rejecting thoughts, ideas and opinions. Gaslighting: making a person/or people doubt their own feelings and thoughts, even sanity by manipulating the truth. It can feel as destructive and damaging as physical abuse and can severely impact a person’s mental health. Kvarnstrom, E. (2018). Emotional abuse is often used as a way to maintain power and control, the aim of the abuser is to chip away at your feelings of independence and self-worth, for example: Belittling behaviours, which includes yelling, calling names, constantly criticizing, dismissing you or mocking feelings, opinions or experiences, humiliation in front of others and ignoring accomplishments. Controlling behaviours, which includes instilling fear by use of threats, whether overt or implied. This includes self-harm, harm to loved ones or pets, acting jealous and possessive, including accusation of infidelity.

The effects of emotional abuse can be painful and destructive, both in long and short-term. Survivors are often left with low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and feelings in helplessness. Many suffer from deep shame, guilt and self-loathing which is an effect of the abuse they received. Often shame and guilt lead victims to stay quiet and can lead them to having unsteady and unhealthy relationships in the future.

As an example, a care home’s worker yells at the service user’s if they do not like the way their service is being carried out or if they wish to complain. They are making the service user feel like they cannot speak up about the bad treatment they are receiving from the care workers. Another example would be making a child constantly feel down, thinking that they are the reasons their parents are divorcing or making them argue. This can affect a child’s mental state, they will constantly feel down and assume that all the arguments their parents have is caused by them.


Neglect is a failure to care properly for service user’s or any other person that needs caring for. The three different types of neglect are physical, emotional and medical neglect. The Kronzek Firm. “Physical neglect are basic needs, such as food, clothing shelter. This is when a parent or carer does not provide the basic necessities for a child/service user. This includes basic physical needs like food, clothing and shelter but also stretches to include a safe environment in which to live free of violence and avoidable harm.” Failure to provide necessities such as food and shelter is seen as a danger to a person’s physical health, well-being and development.

An act of omission is the failure to act which can lead to man slaughter.” If neglect is not dealt with and is left to go on for a long period of time this could lead to the death of the victim. The neglect could become more frequent and could become increasingly worse. Especially when referring to children and vulnerable older people who may not be able to look after themselves. There are three types of indicators for neglect, physical, behavioural and environmental indicators. Some physical indicators could be the victim being underweight malnourished, having poor hygiene, exhaustion and injuries. For example, clothes being too small. On the other hand, there are also behavioural indicators such as, being needy or clingy, withdrawal, depression, aggression, attention seeking and lying. Lastly there are the environmental indicators which may include, lack of possessions and a dirty/ unclean environment.

Common signs of physical neglect can vary, depending on circumstances. However common signs for children include, inappropriate clothing for weather, poor hygiene, ongoing poor health or being underweight or overweight. Normally the effects of neglect are life changing, lasting emotional and psychological consequences. Some common effects are low self-esteem. This can lead to substance abuse and self-destructive behaviours. Many people who have suffered neglect can also develop mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and lots of other mental health disorders.

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Some examples of this, a single parent living with her two children. She does not buy them any new clothes (the clothes they do get are from family or friends, such as old jackets and shoes.) Meaning in winter they don’t have a winter jacket or any suitable clothes, therefore have to wear clothes that are meant for warmer summer days. Causing them to freeze. Another example would be an elderly woman in a care home has poor hygiene because her care worker’s do not bathe her and do not clean her clothes for her. Leaving her to wear her unwashed dirty clothes.

Summers, D. (2016) “Emotional neglect is a form of manipulation to maintain control in a relationship. This type of abuse may include verbal attacks, humiliation, intimidation, bullying and isolation. It can cause deep emotional harm that may last for years.”

Elsevier, B.V. said that emotional neglect can be defined as a relationship pattern in disregarded, ignored, invalidated or unappreciated by another significant over, family member, carer/ caregiver or any other person. Some signs of emotional neglect are being cut off from one’s feelings, the feeling that something is missing but unsure of what that may be, low self-esteem, being easily overwhelmed or discouraged.

One example of emotional neglect, an elderly man lives in a care home and decides he wants to learn how to play an instrument. When he asks his main caregiver, she refuses and discourages him by telling him that it would disturb the workers and the other service users. When he decides to ask one of the managers if he can do so she shouts at him and tells him that he should not bother the managers with something like this. So, he decides to listen and drop the matter.

NALL (2020) “Medical negligence is where health professionals fail in their duty of care. It covers any wrong, accidental or substandard care by medical professionals that causes patient injury or makes an existing condition worse.” NSPCC (2020). Some symptoms could be anaemia, bodily issues, regular illnesses or infections. These can be caused by the wrong dosage of medicine, if they have been prescribed a dose that’s too high or too low then this can cause the service user to become seriously ill or can in worse cases cause death.

An example of this would be a GP has an extremely ill child, she keeps going back into the surgery with the same symptoms. Despite him giving her different medications she did not get any better. Although when the child’s mother became deeply concerned about her child, she took her to a different professional who asked about her symptoms. The professional suggested to her it could be connected to her thyroid. After some testing, she was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid. Under further investigation the mediations that the child received had not helped. The GP had ignored his duty of care and instead of looking into the matter, using the symptoms accurately to find out what was wrong with her he just prescribed her with medication and looked into it no further. Instead he should have looked inti the matter more thoroughly and if he was not sure should have sent her to another professional who could have helped more than he did.

Sexual abuse

ARCC (2020). “Sexual abuse is sexual behaviour, or a sexual act forced upon a woman, man or child without their consent.” Sexual abuse is violence towards someone the attacker believes is weaker than them. It is not a form of an uncontrollable sex drive, but a crime committed with the idea of making the victim feel humiliated.

The people who experience sexual violence or abuse can vary. It can affect anyone despite their age, gender, race or sexuality. The abuser could also vary between a stranger, partner, someone you may know well or even family members. They could also be someone online, someone you have not yet met in person. Sexual assault and harassment can also happen when under influence of things such as drugs and alcohol without you knowing. This could lead to you being assaulted when unconscious or unable to speak therefore you are not able to consent in this situation.

Bowditch, C. (2020). Sexual abuse can be shown in many ways. For example, criticizing someone’s sexual performance, refusing contraception, forcing someone to hear or do sexual acts, withholding sex as a punishment or sexual grooming. TMBC (2020). Some signs of sexual abuse may be loss of sleep, unexpected or unexplained change in behaviour, bruising, soreness around genitals, torn, strained or bloody underwear, a preoccupation with anything sexual, sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy.

Sexual assault is the term used for all sexual offences. Any action or statement with a sexual nature done without consent of both bodies. This can include, Rape which is the penetration of a bodily/sex organ without consent. This can include mouth, vagina and anus. It can also include Sodomy which refers to the penetration of an object Into, any bodily/sex organ. Lastly Incest, sexual abuse or assault committed by a family member.

EEOC (2020). “Sexual harassment is the unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and any other verbal or conduct of as sexual nature.” ARCC (2020). This could include repeated remarks to one’s sexuality after the person has already show the harasser they are not interested, propositions or remarks of a sexual nature degrading that person without consent or an act preformed to cause humiliation, stimulation or satisfaction for the abuser.

Some examples of sexual abuse would be, a middle-aged woman works in a bank. She constantly receives sexual harassment from her male co-workers, they cat-call her and whine and spread rude comments when she’s not in a skirt. She has complained a few times, but nothing has been done about it since it was not an ‘Important” issue. This is sexual abuse, even though the middle-aged woman does not like the treatment she receives nothing was done about it. Another example would be in a care home an elderly woman lives with dementia. A male staff member takes advantage of her, raping and sexually assaulting her knowing that she will forget about it anyway. This is going against a care workers duty of care and also the law, the elderly woman did not consent and because of her dementia cannot complain or get the help she may need.

Financial abuse

H&SC Book 1. (2020). “Financial abuse is a type of theft. It is another name for stealing money or valuables from a service user or of defrauding them of their money or property.” Defrauding is the term used when someone tricks or deceives the service user to give them money and valuables. Normally the individual or group who defraud the service user into giving them their valuables or money are close friends and family members. When they are close it is easier for them to manipulate the service user a lot easier. The service user can also be tricked by online or phone businesses who offer deals.

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Types Of Abuse And Their Effects. (2021, September 13). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
“Types Of Abuse And Their Effects.” Edubirdie, 13 Sept. 2021,
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