Abuse Indicators

Physical Abuse Indicators:

  • A history of unexplained falls or minor injuries especially at different stages of healing
  • Unexplained bruising in well-protected areas of body, e.g. on the inside of thighs or upper arms etc.
  • Unexplained bruising or injuries of any sort
  • Burn marks of unusual type, e.g. burns caused by cigarettes and rope burns etc.
  • A history of frequent changes of general practitioners or reluctance in the family, carer or friend towards a general practitioner consultation
  • Accumulation of medicine which has been prescribed for a client but not administered
  • Malnutrition, ulcers, bed sores and being left in wet clothing

Sexual Abuse Indicators:

  • Unexplained changes in the demeanour and behaviour of the vulnerable adult
  • Tendency to withdraw and spend time in isolation
  • Expression of explicit sexual behaviour and/or language by the vulnerable adult which is out of character
  • Irregular and disturbed sleep pattern
  • Bruising or bleeding in the rectal or genital areas
  • Torn or stained underclothing especially with blood or semen
  • Sexually transmitted disease or pregnancy where the individual cannot give consent to sexual acts

Emotional / Psycological Abuse Indicators

  • Inability of the vulnerable person to sleep or tendency to spend long periods in bed
  • Loss of appetite or overeating at inappropriate times
  • Anxiety, confusion or general resignation
  • Tendency towards social withdrawal and isolation
  • Fearfulness and signs of loss of self-esteem
  • Uncharacteristic manipulative, uncooperative and aggressive behaviour

See More Emotional Abuse Indicators Here

Financial Abuse Indicators:

  • Unexplained inability to pay for household shopping or bills etc.
  • Withdrawal of large sums of money which cannot be explained
  • Missing personal possessions
  • Disparity between the person’s living conditions and their financial resources
  • Unusual and extraordinary interest and involvement in the vulnerable adult’s assets

Neglect and Acts of Omission Indicators:

  • Inadequate heating, lighting, food or fluids
  • Failure by carer to give prescribed medication or obtain appropriate medical care
  • Carer’s reluctant to accept contact from health or social care professionals
  • Refusal to arrange access for visitors
  • Poor physical condition in the vulnerable person e.g. ulcers, bed sores
  • Apparently unexplained weight loss
  • Unkempt clothing and appearance
  • Inappropriate or inadequate clothing, or nightclothes worn during the day
  • Sensory deprivation – lack of access to glasses, hearing aids etc.
  • Absence of appropriate privacy and dignity
  • Absence of method of calling for assistance

See More Child Abuse Indicators at: http://www.cengage.com/resource_uploads/downloads/1428361243_156813.pdf


See More Elder Abuse Indicators at:


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