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10.1g List the possible indicators of abuse

There are many possible indicators of the types of abuse discussed in an earlier section. Here are some of the indicators of abuse that you should know:

  • Signs of physical abuse: Broken bones, bruises, unexplained loss of clumps of hair, bite, burn or scald marks
  • Signs of domestic violence: Any of these relating to the different types of abuse or neglect that can occur in any incident
  • Signs of modern slavery: Rarely being allowed to travel on their own, having few or no personal belongings, avoiding eye contact and appearing frightened, signs of physical or psychological abuse
  • Signs of financial or material abuse: Bills not being paid, loss of assets, not having enough food or clothing, expenditure higher than the living conditions suggest
  • Signs of sexual abuse: Bloodstained underwear, pain and discomfort when walking or sitting, sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy
  • Signs of neglect and self-neglect: Malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, dirty clothing and bedding, taking the wrong dosage of medication
  • Signs of psychological abuse: Anxiety, lack of confidence, low self-esteem, disturbed sleep
  • Signs of organisational abuse: Poor care standards, rigid routines, lack of staff learning, development and support
  • Signs of discriminatory abuse: Poor service that does not meet the person’s needs, verbal abuse and disrespect, exclusion from activities and/or services

By noticing these signs early, you can help stop abuse before it gets any worse, so you should familiarise yourself with these signs as much as possible.