Back to top

Please review and correct the information below.

Safeguarding people

What is abuse?

Abuse is something that is done to another person, without their full understanding or consent that harms them in some way. It may consist of a single act or repeated acts. Abuse or neglect may be deliberate, or the result of negligence or ignorance.

Unintentional abuse or neglect arises, for example, because pressures have built up and/or because of difficult or challenging behaviour which is not being properly addressed.

Abuse and neglect can take many forms. Abuse can include one or more of the following:

Physical abuse

Physical abuse includes hitting, pinching, pushing, misuse of medication or physically restraining someone in an inappropriate way. For example, being locked in or force-fed.

Financial / Material abuse

Financial/Material abuse includes theft, fraud, exploitation, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits. For example, having money or property stolen, being pressured into giving people money or changing a will, misuse of benefits, not being allowed access to money.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse includes rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented and may not understand or was pressured into consenting; For example, being made to touch or kiss someone else, being made to listen to sexual comments or forced to look at sexual acts or materials.

Psychological abuse

Psychological abuse can happen where someone is isolated, verbally abused or threatened. It includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.

Discriminating abuse

Discriminating abuse includes any type of abuse on grounds of race, gender and gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment. For example, ignoring spiritual or religious beliefs, comments or jokes about a person's disability, age, race, sexual orientation, or gender / gender identity, ignoring cultural needs


Exploitation includes unfairly manipulating someone for profit or personal gain; it can be either opportunistic or premeditated.


Neglect and acts of omission includes ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

Institutional abuse

Institutional abuse can occur in a social or health care establishment such as a hospital or care home and includes from poor practice to neglect, ill treatment and gross misconduct. This may range from isolated incidents to continuing ill-treatment. For example, lack of individual care, no flexibility of bedtimes or waking, deprived environment and lack of stimulation.

Mate Crime

Mate Crime occurs when a person is harmed or taken advantage of by someone they thought was their friend.

Hate Crime

A Hate Incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone's prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender. Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but those that do become hate crimes.

Where can abuse take place

People who need support need to trust and depend upon a wide range of people who offer them help in many forms.

Abuse can happen anywhere. It could take place

  • in your own home
  • in someone else's home
  • at a day centre or college
  • in a residential or nursing home
  • in a hospital or GP surgery
  • at work
  • in a public place

Who can carry out abuse

Unfortunately we know that abuse can be carried out by anyone such as

  • family, friends, neighbours
  • paid staff, carers, volunteers
  • other service users or tenants
  • Strangers

At risk

If you have concerns that someone you know may be at risk of abuse or is being abused it is very important to let us know.

To discuss your concerns of suspected abuse or neglect you can -

If you believe a crime is being committed then you will need to let the Police know.. You can contact them on 101.

Or if -

  • your or someone’s life is in danger
  • violence is being used and threatened
  • a crime is in progress

Then it is time to dial 999

What happens after you share your concerns with us

When you contact us we will discuss the concern with you to determine what needs to happen next. In some instances this may result in us undertaking further enquiries or we may suggest a different course of action.

If you are contacting us with concerns for someone else we will want to make arrangements to talk to the person themselves about the concerns. We will do this by telephone or through a visit.

We will always want to find out the views and wishes of the person at risk before deciding on any safeguarding action.

We work with the person to help them make any changes they have identified to better protect themselves from abuse or neglect.

Sometimes the person at risk of abuse is not able to make these decisions. Where this is the case we will make sure that any actions taken are in the person’s best interest, in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Usually a person has a friend or relative who can offer some support during a safeguarding enquiry but if the person has no one to support them we can arrange an advocate for them. This is someone to speak up for them and act on their behalf.

There are many different ways in which a person can experience abuse.

Hull Safeguarding Adult’s Partnership Board

Locally the Hull Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board oversees how adults at risk in our area are provided with support.

The Hull Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board (HSAPB) is a statutory board formed under the Care Act 2014. It consists of senior members from Hull City Council, Humberside Police and Hull NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.

The Board is the strategic multi-agency lead body in Hull for the protection of safeguarding adults and ensures all sectors have influence and involvement in keeping our most vulnerable safe across this city

Visit the Hull Safeguarding Adults Partnership board

Hull Safeguarding Children Board

The Hull Safeguarding Children Board (HSCB) is the statutory body that brings together all the key partners and organisations who work together to promote children’s welfare and help protect them from abuse.

The Hull safeguarding children's board website provides information, advice and guidance to the public, children, parents and carers, and professionals working with children and young people.

Visit the Hull Safeguarding Children's Board website

Other support

Action for elder abuse

Action for elder abuse is a national charity that supports older people who are or have been abused

Their helpline can provides direct advice and help to people who may be in danger of experiencing abuse

Contact their helpline by telephone on 08088 088 141.

Visit the Action for elder abuse website here


Respond works with children and adults with learning disabilities who have experienced abuse or trauma,

Visit the respond website here

Last reviewed: 10/11/2017