Regardless of age, everyone deserves to live safely. If you ever feel at risk or have concerns about someone else, support is readily available. Abuse can happen to anyone. it takes many forms, from violence and threats to financial abuse, controlling behaviour and emotional cruelty.

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is about:  

  • Protecting children and adults at risk from harm, abuse and neglect 
  • Preventing damage to health and development 
  • Ensuring children are growing up safely, have the best life chances and enter adulthood successfully  

Children and adults at risk can be abused in a family, institution or community setting. Abuse can include:  

  • Physical abuse 
  • Emotional abuse 
  • Sexual abuse 
  • Neglect - persistent failure to meet basic physical and / or psychological needs 
  • Financial or material abuse 
  • Discriminatory abuse 
  • Institutional abuse 

Stockport Homes Group's Safeguarding Children and Adults at Risk Policy

We are proud to be a part of Stockport Homes Group. Please read our Group policy for safeguarding children and adults at risk.

Read the policy

What is abuse and neglect?

Everyone has the right to live safely, free from any form of abuse or neglect. While the majority can enjoy this freedom, studies show that nearly half a million individuals aged over 65 may encounter some form of mistreatment or neglect. These incidents can be singular or recurring, impacting one person or several, and it's possible to experience multiple types of abuse simultaneously.

Find out more about different forms of abuse and neglect by clicking each title:

Discriminatory abuse

If you experience any of the behaviours we've described or you're treated unfairly or unequally based on your protected characteristics, this would be discriminatory abuse. Your protected characteristics are:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion and belief
  • sex or sexual orientation

For example, your religious or cultural needs may be neglected, such as the need to pray at certain times or the requirement for halal meat. 

Domestic abuse

Physical abuse, financial abuse and sexual abuse, amongst other types of abuse) will also be domestic abuse if it is perpetrated by someone you're connected to including:

  • your current or former partner
  • your adult child
  • your adult grandchild
  • another adult family member

People often think domestic abuse only affects young people, but any person of any age or gender can experience domestic abuse.

See our domestic abuse page to find out more, including where to get support

Financial abuse

This can include:

  • theft
  • fraud
  • exploiting your financial affairs
  • restricting your access to money, employment or possessions
  • pressurising and coercing you about your will, lasting power of attorney, property and inheritance

Anyone can commit financial abuse – it can be a relative, a partner, or a scammer. Financial scams are getting more sophisticated.

If you want to talk to someone in confidence about what's going on, ring Hourglass on 0808 808 8141. 

Modern slavery

This can include slavery, human trafficking and domestic servitude. This can appear in different forms, such as:

  • forced prostitution
  • forced begging
  • forced criminal behaviour
  • forced work
  • forced marriage
  • forced organ donation

This can include:

  • wilfully ignoring your medical or physical care needs
  • failing to provide you with access to appropriate health or social care

Common examples of neglect are limiting your access to food, drink, medication or heating, restricting support with personal care, and not supporting you to attend medical appointments.

Organisational abuse

This can include an incident or pattern of incidents involving ongoing ill-treatment within an organisation. This could involve neglect, acts of omission or poor practice as a result of inadequate structures, policies and practice.

An organisation could be:

  • a care home
  • a hospital
  • a day service
  • a service delivering care to your home
Psychological abuse

This can include:

  • threats of harm to you or others
  • controlling behaviour
  • intimidation
  • coercion
  • verbal abuse  
  • isolating you from friends or loved ones.

Psychological abuse can be subtle and tricky to identify. It can even be experienced alongside overwhelming feelings of love and happiness. Often, it's a case of one person manipulating another to feel confused and a sense that they are to blame for the abuse they are experiencing.

Physical abuse

This can include:

  • any form of physical harm
  • the misuse of medication
  • inappropriate use of restraint
  • things such as intentionally keeping a walking aid out of reach

It doesn’t have to be repeated. Any single act of physical abuse is serious.


This can include a wide range of activities such as hoarding or neglecting personal care which may impact on your own health or others.

Self-neglect must be considered alongside the Mental Capacity Act. We have the right to make what others may see as unwise decisions, even when they may impact on our long term well-being. 

Sexual abuse

This can include:

  • sexual assault
  • rape
  • sexual harassment
  • pressurising you to perform or take part in sexual acts you don't consent to. This can also include non-contact sexual acts such as indecent exposure, online abuse and non-consensual pornographic activities

No matter when sexual abuse occurs, even if it was years ago, it still matters and there is specific support available through the government's It Still Matters campaign

Verbal abuse

This can include:

  • humiliating you in front of others
  • name-calling
  • shouting at you
  • repeatedly putting you down

Verbal abuse can also be subtle. The person may say they're joking or tell you that you're being too sensitive. Others may laugh along or look uncomfortable at their behaviour, but it often goes unchallenged. 

If you feel unsafe or are worried about someone else, tell someone about it. The best way to protect yourself or someone you care about and to stop abuse from happening is to tell someone. This may feel difficult, but abuse and neglect are never acceptable. You don't have to put up with it and there is help available for you. 

Get help and report abuse of an older person: