Everyone can be victims of abusive behaviour. There are many factors that may lead to abusive situations, it could be physical that are seen clearly, some are hidden and some are emotional that the victim needs to talk to someone about.
Abuse may be a single act or many acts. It can occur in any relationship and may be the result of deliberate intent, ignorance or neglect. It may be a criminal offence, such as rape, assault or theft. (http://myway.trafford.gov.uk 2014)
Abuse is where the abuser may find joy or thrill by doing the actions they do, for instance if their life is going downhill, they may not want to be the only one to do so, so they put someone down either by physical, emotional, or even sexual abuse. Some of the key risk factors for abuse include: family conflict, dependency, isolation, carer stress, addictive behaviours and physiological problems. (http://www.eapu.com 2014)
People more vulnerable of abusive situations:
-communication difficulties, may not hear the abuser, may not be able to stand up for his or her self, they may not see the abuser or that someone is going towards them, they won’t be able to talk to someone about it because they could have doubts -learning disabilities, may not know that they are being exploited or abused so its easy to be taken advantage off -mental health problems
-people with dementia, affecting the intellect and physical functions, this could cause unpredictable psychological or physical behaviour.
-dependency, i.e. on carers
-social isolation, people usually have fewer contacts on the outside world (http://www.caerphilly.gov.uk 2014)
Personal problems cause frustration, things such as addictions to drugs and alcohol can modify behaviour and add to the bad feelings leading the individual to abuse someone. Usually if one partner in a relationship is earning more money the other partner will feel disempowered, also typically in men, if their wife/partner earns more than them it doesn’t abide to the stereotypical view of the male being the provider so they can become very aggressive and use financial abuse to make themselves feel better i.e. denying or stealing their partners money so they feel bigger and more powerful.
Environmental problems such as poor housing or overcrowding could potentially lead to abusive situations because, if there is overcrowding, the abuser may need more space and abuse someone so they leave. Someone with poor housing is easy targets for abusive people as they may live on the streets, the abuser may think that because they live on the street they have no feelings or family and take advantage of them just because they are lesser off than the abuser, so the abuser may feel a sense of priority over them.
An adequate increase on carer stress may push the carer too far and abuse someone. The carer may lack understanding of the ageing process, illness, disability and/or needs of the vulnerable adult. The carer may blame the victim of financial problems as they have a low income or debt problems, although it is not the victims fault, this could lead to the carer possibly blackmailing someone for more money, abusing the victims money, providing them with financial problems. Another aspect of abusive situations is personal stress; the carer may be looking after two generations, his or her own children and a dependent adult, they may feel that are not getting their own time meaning they feel isolated, and may take advantage of someone and the carer may feel disempowered and trapped. If someone rejects help, then they are even more vulnerable.
In some families abuse is considered the normal reaction to stress, and it may continue from generation to generation, for instance if a child has done something wrong they need to be disciplined, some families would confiscate something and some families may physically abuse, i.e. smacking. A child who was previously abused may now be a carer and repeat the cycle of abuse to a dependent parent or child. The risk of abuse is greater where the vulnerable adult:
Has an unusual behaviour, for example they may stay in their safe zone a lot more, they don’t want to leave as they feel they can’t trust anybody Rejects help, they may have family there for them or friends but they may feel they can cope themselves, they break down communication between them and everyone else Is socially isolated i.e. does not have other friends or visitors Unable to complain, for example because of hearing disabilities and other communication barriers May have low self-esteem, so lacking power in relationships
Bay be less likely to be served well be the criminal justice system, possibly because of past criminal convictions
(http://myway.trafford.gov.uk 2009) (http://www.safefromharm.org.uk 2014)
http://www.caerphilly.gov.uk/pdf/Health_SocialCare/POVA/Predisposing_factors_which_may_lead_to_abuse.pdf 2006 Date accessed 23/09/14
Date accessed 23/09/14
http://myway.trafford.gov.uk/i-need-help-with/keeping-people-safe/safeguarding-adults/safeguarding-adults/understanding-safeguarding/types-risks-and-indicators-of-abuse.aspx 2014 Date accessed 24/09/14
http://myway.trafford.gov.uk/i-need-help-with/keeping-people-safe/safeguarding-adults/safeguarding-adults/understanding-safeguarding/types-risks-and-indicators-of-abuse.aspx 2009 Date accessed 28/09/14
http://www.safefromharm.org.uk/wps/wcm/connect/occ/Safe+From+Harm/Professionals/What+is+adult+abuse/SFH+-+Prof+-+T+-+risk+factors 2014 Date accessed 28/09/14
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