Protecting adults at risk in London: Good practice resource

Recognition and indicators of adult abuse

The signs of abuse can often be difficult to detect. People with communication difficulties can be particularly vulnerable because they may not be able to alert others. Some people with a cognitive impairment may not even be aware that they are being abused. It is therefore vital that people who come into contact with those who may be vulnerable are able to identify abuse and recognise possible indicators.

The lists of possible indicators and examples of behaviour are not exhaustive. Evidence of any one indicator should not be taken on its own as proof that abuse is occurring. However, it should alert practitioners to make further enquiries and to consider other factors associated with the situation.

See SCIE’s Safeguarding adults at risk of harm: A legal guide for practitioners for case studies of different types of abuse and the legal considerations surrounding them.

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