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Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse & Neglect

Physical abuse is any act of violence or rough handling that may or may not result in physical injury but causes physical discomfort or pain.

Physical abuse can be:

  • Pushing, kicking, shoving, shaking
  • Hitting, slapping, poking
  • Pulling hair, biting, pinching, arm twisting
  • Spitting at someone
  • Confining or restraining a person inappropriately

Sexual abuse is any sexual behaviour directed toward an older adult without that person’s full knowledge and consent; it includes coercing an older person through force, trickery, threats or other means into unwanted sexual activity.

Sexual abuse also includes sexual contact with seniors who are unable to grant consent and unwanted sexual contact between service providers and their elderly clients. Sexual abuse can be very difficult to identify as embarrassment and shame may prevent the issue from being talked about or reported.

Sexual Abuse can be:

  • Unwanted sexual contact such as touching, sexualized kissing
  • Making sexual remarks and/or suggestions to another person
  • Forcing a person to perform a sexual act
  • Inappropriate touching
  • Fondling a confused senior
  • Forced intercourse/rape.
  • Coerced nudity and sexually explicit photographing.

Neglect is not meeting the basic needs of the older person.

Active (intentional) neglect: the deliberate withholding of care or the basic necessities of life to an older adult for whom they are caring.

Passive (unintentional) neglect: the failure to provide proper care to an older adult due to lack of knowledge, experience /ability or unaware of how to access local

Neglect can be:

  • Withholding care or denying access to necessary services (home care, nursing) or medical attention
  • Leaving a person in an unsafe place
  • Improper use of medication – over/under medicating
  • Not providing food or liquids, proper clothing or hygiene
  • Failure to assist with activities of daily living
  • Abandonment
  • Denial of a senior’s basic rights
  • Psychological Abuse