Care Certificate

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Physical Abuse

Video 114 of 250
2 min 29 sec
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Physical Abuse of Vulnerable Adults: Signs & Reporting

Profile of Potential Perpetrators

Those who inflict physical harm on vulnerable adults often share certain characteristics:

  • Relationship Status: More likely to be unmarried.
  • Living Arrangements: Typically cohabit with their victims.
  • Employment Status: Often unemployed.
  • Substance Abuse: May struggle with alcohol or drug issues.
  • Caregiver Role: Some might be caregivers to those they abuse.

Physical Indicators of Abuse

Signs that suggest potential physical mistreatment encompass:

  • Visible injuries: bruises, sprains, burns, or fractures.
  • Unusual marks: abrasions resembling rope or strap impressions.
  • Signs of trauma: unexplained hair or tooth loss.
  • Internal injuries: pain or bleeding from ears, mouth, or other body parts.
  • Patterned bruising: indicating shaking, grabbing, restraint, or possible sexual abuse.
  • Neglected injuries: wounds healing without proper treatment.

Suspicion Arising Factors

Several factors can raise the alarm about non-accidental injuries:

  • Distinct patterned injuries.
  • Inconsistent explanations for the cause of injuries.
  • Delays in seeking medical attention.
  • History of suspicious injuries or hospitalisations.
  • Usage of different medical facilities to avoid detection.

Behavioural Indicators of Abuse

Behavioural patterns that may hint at physical mistreatment include:

  • Unexplained or implausibly explained injuries.
  • Varied explanations from family about injury causes.
  • Repeated similar injuries or dubious hospital stays.
  • Procrastination in obtaining medical care for injuries.

Importance of Vigilance

It's paramount to be alert to these signs and promptly report any suspicions of abuse to the relevant authorities.