Identifying signs of abuse of tenants

Guidance for frontline housing staff and contractors

Signs of abuse can often be difficult to detect. People with communication difficulties can be particularly at risk because they may not be able to alert others. Sometimes people may not even be aware that they are being abused, and this is especially likely if they have a cognitive impairment. Abusers may try to prevent access to the person they abuse. It is vital that people who come into contact with people with care and support needs are able to identify abuse and recognise possible indicators.

How can you spot abuse?

People may be subjected to a number of different types of abuse. The list of possible indicators and examples of behaviour is not exhaustive.


Adult safeguarding and domestic abuse: a guide to support practitioners and managers (Local Government Association, 2013)

Safeguarding adults at risk of harm: a legal guide for practitioners (SCIE, 2011)

In this section