The law defines the types of abuse as:

Physical abuse 

Including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical punishments.

Domestic violence

Categorised by any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality including so called ‘honour’ based violence.

Sexual abuse

Including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting

Psychological abuse

Including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.

Financial or material abuse

Including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s money, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance, financial transactions, or the misuse of property, possessions or benefits.

Discriminatory abuse

Including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion

Modern slavery

A serious and often hidden crime where people are exploited for financial gain by others. It takes many different forms including slavery, forced labour, sexual exploitation, trafficking and even forced marriage


This covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding


Organisational abuse

Including neglect and poor care practice within a care setting such as a hospital or care home, or in one’s own home.

Neglect and acts of omission

Including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the essentials of life, such as medication, adequate food and heating.