Skip to main content



Keeping safe – Say no to abuse

We all have the right to:

  • Live our lives free from violence, fear and abuse
  • Be respected by other people
  • Make choices about our lives and the things which affect us (even if other people may not agree)
  • Live in safety

What is abuse?

Abuse is behaviour that can lead to harm or distress; for example hitting, pushing, bullying, stealing, neglect, or sexual activity without consent. Abuse is not only a physical act, some abusers will use mental abuse, such as gaslighting to harm their victims.

It can happen to anyone, anywhere, any time.

It is can be carried out by many different people, but more often, it's someone known and trusted by the victim.

Any abuse is wrong and should not happen.

Who is at risk of abuse?

Everyone is at risk of abuse, both adults and children. This page talks about abuse of adults.

Some adults may be unable to take care of themselves, or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited for different reasons:

They   are elderly or frail

They   have mental health problems or learning difficulties

They   have physical disabilities

They   have sight or hearing loss

They   have dementia and may be confused or forgetful

They   have some form of illness

They   are not able to stop someone else from hurting them or taking advantage of   them

They   depend on someone else to look after them

Who could abuse you?

It could be someone close to you, such as a relative, friend, spouse, partner, member of staff or someone you don’t know so well. Sometimes the person causing the harm won’t mean it. Others will deliberately cause harm.

Most people will not abuse you, but always tell someone if you think this is happening to you or someone you know.

Where could someone abuse you?

Most places will be safe but if someone is causing harm, it could happen anywhere:

  • In your own home
  • In a care home, nursing home or day centre
  • In hospital
  • At work
  • At a club

What are the types of abuse?


When someone treats you unfairly because they think you are different.

This may be because of:

The   way you look or talk

Your   age

Your   disability

The   colour of your skin

Your   religion

Your   gender

You   are gay or lesbian




When a partner or close family member tries to control you. It can be physical or emotional and can also mean frightening any children in the household.


When something is said or done which hurts your feelings or scares you, including:

Threatening   you with harm or leaving you

Not   letting you spend time with other people or go out

Humiliating   you

Blaming   or controlling you

Harassing   you

Forcing   you to do things you may not want to do

Calling   you names or laughing at you

Treating   you like a child

Stopping   you from getting help or support



Financial / Material

When someone takes your money or things, including:

Stealing   your money or belongings

Making   you buy something you don’t want to buy

Using   your money to pay for their things

Controlling   how you spend your money

Forcing   you to give them your money or things




When someone makes you do sexual things that you do not want to do, or makes you sad, angry or frightened, including:

Being   touched when you don’t want to be

Undressing   you or having sex with you when you don’t want to

Being   made to touch other people when you don’t want to

Making   you watch or say sexual things when you don’t want to

Neglect / Acts of Omission

When someone doesn’t give you things that you need, including:

Not   giving you your prescribed medicine when you need it

Not   taking you to the doctor when you are ill

Being   hungry or thirsty

Being   too hot or too cold

Not   letting you have equipment that you need, for example, hearing aid,   wheelchair, walking stick

Not   purchasing personal hygiene items that you need


When someone physically hurts you, including:

Hitting,   pushing, hair pulling, pinching, scratching or shaking


Not   allowing you to move

Not   giving you food or drink or force-feeding

Giving   you too much or too little medicine

How we can help

You can tell any of our staff at any time. This could include if they are visiting you in your home, doing a repair, talking on the phone or in the office. Or you can phone us, in confidence, and we will arrange for a member of staff to talk to you.

Our staff will:

  • Listen to you carefully and do all we can to help.
  • Make sure you get the help and support needed.
  • Be sensitive and respect what you are saying.
  • Ask you what you would like to happen.
  • Keep you up-to-date with what is going on.

Contact other organisations including Social Services and the Police to get the help needed to reduce harm. We would normally only do this with your consent.

Tell their own Manager in confidence to make sure we do the right thing.

If you think you are, or someone you know, is being abused or harmed, you should tell someone. More information on who you should tell and what they will do next, can be found on the back page of this leaflet.

Keeping you safe from abuse

Contact your landlord on:

You can call Together Housing on 0300 555 5560

Other organisations who can help:


999 - emergency

101-non emergency

Action on Elder Abuse

(Elder Abuse Response Helpline)

0808 808 8141

Age UK

(Working to improve later life for everyone by   providing life-enhancing services and vital support)

0800 169 6565

Care Quality Commission

(The independent regulator of all health and social care   services in England)

0300 061 6161


(The leading voice of learning disability)

0808 808 1111


(Helping anyone with a mental health problem with   advice and support).

0300 123 3393


(Replacement for NHS Direct (Oct 2013)



(For People with Learning Disabilities and their Supporters)

0808 808 0700