Individuals who present with unusual behaviours such as suddenly behaving differently are anxious, withdrawn, depressed, aggressive, have difficulty sleeping or changes in eating habits and or unexplained weight loss, bed sores, bedwetting and or soils clothes which is associated with non-accidental injuries, such as multiple bruising, fractures and burns could be signs of physical abuse. As well as physical signs, individuals may experience change in their emotional state, such as thoughts about suicide, self-harm, obsessive behaviour, taking risks as well as using illicit drugs and or alcohol.
Signs and or symptoms of sexual abuse in young or vulnerable persons may be that they avoid socialising or being alone with certain people and appear afraid of them. In young or vulnerable persons, a sign of sexual abuse is inappropriate sexual behaviour or language in relation to their age. Physical symptoms of sexual abuse could be genitalia soreness, an unusual discharge, having a sexually transmitted infection or pregnancy. Other indicators such as unexpected or unexplained change in behaviour, a preoccupation with sexual content, bruising, torn, stained or bloody underwear are associated with sexual abuse
Like physical abuse, the signs of emotional/psychological abuse are similar without obvious physical symptoms. Indicators could be unexpected or unexplained change in behaviour, confusion, fear, depression and a loss of sleep.
Signs and or symptoms of financial abuse could be unexplained withdrawal from the bank or unusual banking activity, unpaid bills or unexplained shortage of money and the reluctance of the person with responsibility of finances to provide basic life necessities.
Institutional abuse can be indicated by means of non-negotiable systems or routine, displaying a lack of meeting dietary requirements, inappropriate ways of addressing persons or name calling as well as displaying a lack of appropriate physical care.
Self-neglect can be identified by persons suffering with a disease, injury or illness which is untreated. A person living in unsanitary conditions, creating a hazardous situation which is likely to cause physical harm as well as damage or loss of assets could be a sign of self-neglect. As well as a person’s physical or mental health being severely impaired due to extensive malnutrition can be a sign or symptom of self-neglect.
Signs of neglect by others could be untreated medical problems, malnutrition, confusion, over-sedation and bed sores. Depriving an individual of meals could be considered as “wilful neglect”.