Abuse, Neglect & Harassment

Abuse is not normal and never OK. Being abused means a person is being deliberately hurt by someone else.

Abuse is very distressing and can take many forms:

  • Physical abuse - hitting, slapping, pushing, physically restraining, or the mismanagement of medication
  • Psychological abuse - shouting, swearing, humiliation, intimidation, confinement or isolation, which may make a person afraid and diminish their sense of identity, dignity and self-worth
  • Sexual abuse - unwanted touching, kissing or sexual intercourse
  • Financial and material abuse - money or belongings taken under pressure or stolen
  • Neglect and acts of omission - not being properly cared for, mismanaging medication or being denied privacy, choice or social contact
  • Domestic abuse - an incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members
  • Modern day slavery – this covers bonded slavery, child slavery, early and forced marriage, forced labour and trafficking
  • Self-neglect - failure of an adult to take care of himself or herself that causes, or is reasonably likely to cause within a short period of time, serious physical, mental or emotional harm or substantial damage to or loss of assets
  • Organisation abuse – this can be as a result of neglect, poor care practice within an organisation or a specific care setting such as a hospital or care home and/or poor practice in relation to care provided in a person’s own home
  • Hate crime - these are any crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

Abuse can take place in a person's own home, in a residential or nursing home or a day centre or hospital. Unfortunately, those being abused are often the least likely to bring the situation to anyone's attention.

In an emergency situation always dial 999.  Otherwise don’t suffer in silence if you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence and abuse, call or text Halton Domestic Abuse Service on 0300 11 11 247.


In an emergency situation always dial 999.  Otherwise don’t suffer in silence if you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence and abuse, call or text Halton Domestic Abuse Service on 0300 11 11 247.

Domestic violence and abuse can be:

  • Physical - hitting, kicking, shoving, pushing, punching, biting
  • Psychological - bullying, belittling, verbal abuse, humiliation
  • Emotional - lowering your self-esteem, making you feel useless/worthless/like a bad parent
  • Financial - fraud, not letting you have any money, taking your money, creating debts in your name
  • Sexual - assault, rape, using sex as a bargaining tool

Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA’s

The main purpose of independent domestic violence advisors (IDVA) is to address the safety of victims at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children.

Serving as a victim’s primary point of contact, IDVAs normally work with their clients from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk, discuss the range of suitable options and develop safety plans. They are pro-active in implementing the plans, which address immediate safety, including practical steps to protect themselves and their children, as well as longer-term solutions. These plans will include actions from the Multi-agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) as well as sanctions and remedies available through the criminal and civil courts, housing options and services available through other organisations.

IDVAs support and work over the short- to medium-term to put them on the path to long-term safety. They receive specialist accredited training and hold a nationally recognised qualification. Since they work with the highest risk cases, IDVAs are most effective as part of an IDVA service and within a multi-agency framework. The IDVA’s role in all multi-agency settings is to keep the client’s perspective and safety at the centre of proceedings.

Studies have shown that when high risk clients engage with an IDVA, there are clear and measurable improvements in safety, including a reduction in the escalation and severity of abuse and a reduction or even cessation in repeat incidents of abuse.

To find out move call 0151 511 8181 or email idva@halton.gov.uk

further information:


Please visit the Adult Safeguarding website


Hate crime is a particularly serious issue that can seriously affect the quality of life for people and communities.


If you are the victim of abuse, or you know someone who you think is being or has been abused, then it is really important to seek help

There are also a number of local and national organisations you might want to talk to: