Physical abuse happens when a person is being physically harmed or injured by intent.
Most commonly physical abuse can be identified by:
1. Bruises. The clients might have been hit by an object which most likely to leave a print of the object on a skin.
2. Misplaced joints. Might be caused because of wrong manual and handling. For example using dragging lifting technique.
3. Bites. Questionable print of the bite.
4. Unexplainable cuts and grazes.
5. Eye and ear injuries. Unexplained injuries. Might be caused by applying a physical pressure or hit.
6. Mouth and dental injuries. Type of injuries which would normally would not occur. Like broken set of teeth unexplainably.
7. Fractures. Reoccurring or unexplained cause of fractures might indicate that client is abused.
8. Burns. Unexplained burns where there should be none. Maybe caused by very hot water while bathed or showered.
9. Depression. Sudden depression with or without other signs might indicate of abuse.
10. Fear. Client becoming scared, jumpy and distant while approached by carers.
11. Unnecessary or excessive use of restrains. Not letting client to have independent movement when they wish so.
12. Over medication. Forcing client to take too much medication causing physical harm to client’s body.
Physical abuse might not be abuse but an accidental injury. Injuring occurring in most likely places can be deemed as an accident, but that needs to be closely inspected as it might be caused deliberately as well. A few possible places where injuring might occur by an accident:
Knees, elbows, Shins and forehead. Client might have gotten on the knees to pick up an object from the floor and in result gained a bruise or an injury.
Soft tissue areas like buttock, back of legs, thighs. There is general possibility client catching their thigh on something while moving.
The frequency of the signs appearing can indicate or rule out the possibility of abuse. Frequent and repeated signs could be sign of abuse whilst one off injury could be just a bad luck.
Sexual abuse is type of abuse when clients is being raped or forced into having a sexual intercourse against their will.
Most commonly sexual abuse can be identified by:
1. Soreness around genitalia or unexplained blood.
2. Unexpected weight loss.
3. Withdrawal, change in behaviour.
4. Loss of sleep.
5. Stained or ripped clothing.
7. Sexually transmitted diseases.
Emotional abuse is non-physical type of abuse. It might be treats, insults, putting down/belittling, isolating from outside world/community, intimidation, controlling aspects of life like personal choices to be made.
Emotional abuse can be identified by:
1. Low self-esteem. Not caring about appearances.
2. Fear. Sudden fear of certain event s of people.
3. Depression. Withdrawal and shutting inside of oneself.
4. Loss of sleep. Client is suddenly feeling tired and not wanting to engage in everyday activities.
5. Change in behaviour. Unexplained bursts of cry or anger.
Financial abuse is when individual’s finances are being taken advantage of with or without their consent. Sometimes the trustee might be the one applying the financial abuse.
Signs to look out for:
1. Unexplained bank/cash transactions. Especially for big sums of money.
2. Unpaid bills and unexplained shortage of money. No money when it should be and the money which supposed to be there is unexplainably gone.
3. Theft. Money being stolen from individual. That includes valuables, like jewellery and watches.
4. Trustee/family not willing to provide with basic needs like clothing and personal care items, food.
Institutional abuse is denying individual of choices, rights and opportunities. In this