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Safeguarding Adults - Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

Signs and Symptoms of Abuse

Logo for Tameside Adults Safeguarding Partnership

Abuse may take many forms and may include criminal activity. It may take the form of:

It may involve any combination of the above.

Possible Indicators of Physical Abuse

  • Multiple bruising
  • Fractures
  • Burns
  • Bed sores
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Assault (can be intentional or reckless)

Possible Indicators of Neglectinside a residential home

  • Malnutrition
  • Untreated medical problems
  • Bed sores
  • Confusion
  • Over-sedation
  • Deprivation of meals may constitute “wilful neglect”

Possible Indicators of Emotional Abuse

  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Loss of sleep
  • Unexpected or unexplained change in behaviour
  • Deprivation of liberty could be false imprisonment. Aggressive shouting causing fear of violence in a public place may be an offence against Public Order Act 1986, or harassment under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997

Possible Indicators of Sexual Abuse

  • Loss of sleep
  • Unexpected or unexplained change in behaviour
  • Bruising
  • Soreness around the genitals
  • Torn, stained or bloody underwear
  • A preoccupation with anything sexual
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Rape – e.g. a male member of staff having sex with a Mental Health client (see Mental Health Act 1983)
  • Indecent Assault

Possible Indicators of Financial AbuseA ten pound note

  • Unexplained withdrawals from the bank
  • Unusual activity in the bank accounts
  • Unpaid bills
  • Unexplained shortage of money
  • Reluctance on the part of the person with responsibility for the funds to provide basic food and clothes etc.
  • Fraud
  • Theft

Possible Indicators of Institutional Abuse

  • Inflexible and non-negotiable systems and routines
  • Lack of consideration of dietary requirements
  • Name calling; inappropriate ways of addressing people
  • Lack of adequate physical care – an unkempt appearance
Contact Information
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Contact by Post

Room 2.88
Tameside MBC
Council Offices
Wellington Road
Ashton under Lyne
OL6 6DL
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 5217/5229/5243
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Page last updated: 25 November 2013