Emotional abuse is a pattern of repeated behaviour where an individual insults, humiliates, and instils fear in another person to gain power over them (Goldsmith and Freyd, 2005, p.95-123). It centres on a perpetrator controlling another person, manipulating what they do, and isolating from them because the perpetrator diminishes them. Such abuse can occur in several contexts including in an interpersonal relationship, parental, professional, romantic, or any other context that involves two or more people. The perpetrators of emotional abuse may use different tactics such as criticizing, calling other names, act jealously, or tracking their phones.

Financial abuse is described by the Act 2014 as a type of abuse in which money or property is stolen, a person is defrauded or put under pressure with respect to money, or one’s property or money being misused. Additionally, controlling someone’s money or property is considered financial abuse. Gordon (2020, p.1) defines financial abuse as the act of controlling someone’s ability to acquire, use, or maintain financial resources. There are three main tactics that abusers use. One, exploiting someone’s resources so that the owner does not benefit from them. Secondly, interfering with their jobs because many people’s sources of finances are in their jobs, and lastly, controlling shared assets and resources.

Sexual abuse is sexual behaviour perpetrated using force on a woman, man, or child. In most cases, most victims of sexual abuse are women and children. The American Psychological Association adds that it happens without the consent of the victims, and making threats on them. Sexual abuse can occur in different forms such as rape, sodomy, incest, gang rape, attempted rape, and serial rape. According to the national institutes of health, one in three women, and one out of four men get sexually abused once in their lifetime (Psychology Today, n.d., n.p).

Signs and Symptoms

Emotional abuse can be identified through some signs and symptoms. One of them is low self-esteem and confidence. Due to being insulted and humiliated, an individual’s self-esteem lowers which in turn may affect their physical self. Secondly, if the victim is a student, they may show a decline in school performance and lose interest in school. Similarly, if they are not students, they still may show a decline in performance at work. Thirdly, social withdraw and lack of interest in socializing with others is also a sign, and lastly, victims may finally suffer depression.

Financial abuse also has some signs and symptoms. The first one is that the victim cannot spend their money the way they want. Everybody would like to be the driver of their money but are abused and cannot control their spending. Secondly, when an individual is forced to transfer ownership of financial resources by signing under an attorney. With such a sign, it means that the owner is suffering from financial abuse because they are being forced. Thirdly, there are some individuals with money but have unpaid bills. People like the elderly or physically challenged may suffer financial abuse when their caretakers refuse to pay their bills ad use the money for their own benefits.


Sexual abuse can be easily identifiable especially in children as Mayo clinic (2020, n.p) explains. Sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy is one sign that sexual abuse has occurred. Secondly, blood in a child’s inner clothes like underwear is also a sign unless it is an accidental injury. Thirdly, an individual showing strange sexual contact with others. For instance, a child touching their peers’ private parts may show they have ever been defiled. Lastly, if a victim, especially a child, keeps saying that they have been sexually abused may be a sign. That is why children’s caretakers need to be vigilant and take note of everything they say.

 Sexual abuse is very common, especially in children. If I witnessed a child being sexually harassed or suspected it, I would first report to the nearest department of child protection. Every state has a child’s protection department where such acts are reported. After reporting, I would then seek to identify the family of the child to inform them about the act. Alternatively, I might opt not to report to a child protection department and report the matter to the nearest police. The police are still advantageous because they will rescue the child very first. The perpetrator also cannot have a chance to escape.

After reporting to either of the two, I would then follow up to ensure the child has been diagnosed and received treatment. In such a case, the victims may suffer psychological or emotional discomfort after the act like feeling ashamed or insecure and some of them may be depressed or be traumatized. Therefore, I would also follow up to make sure the victim gets emotional support from maybe a psychologist.


Scenario 1

People suffering from dementia needs to be safeguard just like other patients. Practitioners and agencies are tasked with different roles in ensuring such people’s lives are better. One of the roles is ensuring the patients’ safety at home. Some of the people suffering from dementia can act strangely if they live in an uncomfortable home. For instance, the practitioners can rearrange the furniture to make the patients move easily, put the lights on, put simple instruction signs on the door or walls, and such things that simplify the patients’ lives. They can safeguard the individual to the extent that the individual does not show any serious signs, if the patient’s signs become serious, then a professional may be involved. There are limitations in how they can help the patients; home care practitioners may not be fit in prescribing drugs to the patients. One factor that might affect practitioners and agencies’ ability to safeguard the patients is the lack of enough resources.

Scenario 2

Practitioners and agencies working with children in a nursery day-care have a role in ensuring the child is protected from maltreatment. In the case study, it seems the mother of the child does not take care of her own child and mistreats her. Secondly, they must take action for a child’s best outcomes (NDNA, n.d., n.p). In this case, the manager can confront the mother. They also have to make sure that children are growing in an effective and safe environment. The practitioners can safeguard the child to a point where the child is treated in the right way and not neglected. One limitation could be if the mother of the child is resistant and does not want the practitioners and agencies to intervene in her child’s life.

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Legislation, Policies, and Guidelines of Safeguarding Children

One of the pieces of legislation is the Children Act 1989. This act allows children to be healthy, grow in safe environments, enjoy their lives, be assisted in their journey of success, and achieve economic stability for their future (Johnson, 2019, n.p). The second act is the Equality Act 2010. The act safeguards people who have one or more special characteristics. Some of the special or protected characteristics are; old age, disability, sexual disorientation, pregnancy, race, and gender reassignment (Richardson, 2010, p.6-11). The act ensures that every person, regardless of their protected characteristics, is treated equally. The third legislation is the Children and Families Act 2014. This act protects vulnerable children or those who need extra care in terms of education, health care, and provision of needs. The act also covers children in foster care homes. Lastly, the Human Rights Act 1998 protects individuals’ rights from being breached. Some of the rights under this act are; right to liberty and security, access to formal education, freedom of speech and expression, right to choose one’s religion, and right from degrading punishments or maltreatment. The right covers both children and adults.

Strengths and Limitations of the Legislations

The first act, Children Act 1989 strength is that children’s futures are considered and may become very successful. Also, children grow in healthy and safe environments which may boost their self-esteem and confidence. Its limitation is that not all parents or foster homes may afford such lifestyles; a healthy lifestyle. To some, it may even be hard to provide basic needs. The second act, the Equality act 2010’s strength is that every individual gets a chance to enjoy life regardless of their protected characteristics. On contrary, the act can be limited by cultural beliefs. If a culture forbids homosexuality, then it may be hard for the act to be implemented on a homosexual individual. The third act Children and Families Act 2014, ensure vulnerable children also access education and good health just like other children and that is its strength. Its limitation is that some well-off families may take advantage and enrol their children limiting chances of the vulnerable children from benefiting. Lastly, the Human Rights Act 1998’s strength is that individuals are secured, can express their feelings and opinions, and can choose their religions. On the other hand, people may also take advantage and break the law in ways such as being rude because of the right of expression or stealing because they are entitled to security.



Abuse is not a new phenomenon and victims of abuse have always come out to report their maltreatment. Various types of abuse can occur including emotional, sexual, financial, bullying, neglect by others among others. Regardless, of the form, the abuse takes, victims of abuse ought to be protected from the perpetrators. Due to this, some ways have been devised particularly to reduce the likelihood of abuse in health and social settings. This paper explores such ways of reducing abuse. Additionally, it will explain the impact of an accessible complaint procedure on reducing incidents of abuse.

Main Body 1

The likelihood of abuse occurring in health and social settings can be reduced. One of the ways to do so is by supporting and encouraging individuals to be aware of their worth and safety. When people know that they are entitled to safety and security and that it is their right, they become more confident in turning down perpetrators’ intimidations. For instance, in a bullying abuse situation that involves students, if the junior student is aware that nobody has the right to control him in an undesirable way, they will be confident to say no to the senior student. The same thing will happen in the case of sexual or emotional abuse. To achieve this mission, advocacy on different rights of individuals can be initiated.

Secondly, having an accessible procedure for complaints can reduce the likelihood of abuse. In this case, it becomes easy for the victims to report and the easier it is to report, the more the perpetrators are discovered and punished. An accessible procedure may also be a warning to the perpetrators because they know that if they abuse someone, the victim can easily report and they will be caught. For example, if in an organization has educated employees on the procedure of reporting abuse complaints, it becomes easier for them to report should they be abused in any way, whether by the management or fellow employees. This will in turn instil fear in the abusers hence, reducing cases of abuse.

Thirdly, carers working in health and social settings can be trained on effective observation skills. Observation skills enable them to spot any strange behaviour and pattern in the people they care for. If they are keen and vigilant, they can easily spot an individual who has been abused. This is especially vital in situations where the abused victims are afraid of reporting or ashamed regardless of whether the complaint procedure is accessible or not. Additionally, it is also applicable in situations where the carers safeguard children or disabled people. Through the observation skill, the carers can identify a victim, approach them and seek to know more until the perpetrator is found. For instance, if a child is defiled, a carer should be vigilant to notice and take immediate action. This will in turn reduce cases of abuse because they can be eventually found and punished.

Main Body 2

An accessible complaint procedure can be a perfect way of reducing incidents of abuse in several ways. Firstly, it assures individuals of free fear of appraisal. Consequently, they can challenge their carers if they feel the services they offer are of poor standards without fearing that the carers might oppress them afterward. Secondly, if the complaint procedure is accessible, it means that individuals understand their rights and know that they can complain if abused. Understanding the right to complain already makes the complaint procedure accessible, and makes a victim aware that they can file a complaint. When a victim understands their right to complain, they can easily report a perpetrator, which is one way of reducing abuse cases. Additionally, if the perpetrator knows that the victim has a right to complain, then they might not abuse them. Consequently, cases of abuse reduce.

Thirdly, an accessible complaint procedure can lower the costs of reporting perpetrators, thus, having the same impact on abuse cases. If for instance, an individual has been financially abused through being forced to transfer their money or property, it may require the victim to go to a court of law. In such a case, the victim will need to hire a lawyer which might be costly. If a complaint procedure is made as affordable as possible, such a victim can report the perpetrator. If several people afford to complain, then cases of abuse can reduce. In another perspective, the victim might not have access to their money due to abuse. Therefore, making the complaint procedure accessible to everyone through lowering the costs involved may reduce incidents of abuse.

Lastly, an accessible complaint procedure ensures victims of abuse know where they can report and to whom which have an impact on abuse incidents. If victims know where they can report and to whom, they can do it fast enough before the perpetrator escapes leading to quick action thereby, reducing cases of abuse. One legislation that is relevant towards reducing the occurrence of abuse is the Human Rights Act 1998. The act protects individuals from any kind of abuse by entitling them the right to liberty and security, freedom of expression, and right from maltreatment (Kavanagh, 2015, p.1008-1039)


To sum up, any type of abuse can be prevented thus reducing the overall incidents of abuse. It can be done by supporting and encouraging individuals to be aware of their worth and take charge of their safety. Also, making the complaint procure accessible to all and thirdly, training carers on observation skills so they can observe when individuals have been abused. An accessible complaint procedure can lower incidents of abuse through its impact. Its impacts that can reduce cases of abuse are; assurance of the right to complain, affordability of complaining, and victims knowing where and to whom to complain. Every individual needs to know their rights, take charge of their safety, and be confident enough to avoid any kind of abuse.


Goldsmith, R. and Freyd, J., 2005. Awareness for Emotional Abuse. Journal of Emotional Abuse, 5(1), pp.95-123.

Gordon, S., 2020. Financial Abuse: Often the First Sign of Domestic Abuse. [online] Verywell Mind. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 January 2021].

Johnson, E., 2019. Safeguarding Children | Legislations and Policies in the UK. [online] CPD Online College. Available at: <> [Accessed 27 January 2021].

Kavanagh, A., 2015. What’s so weak about “weak-form review”? The case of the UK Human Rights Act 1998. International Journal of Constitutional Law, 13(4), pp.1008-1039.

Mayo clinic, 2020. Child abuse – Symptoms and causes. [online] Mayo Clinic. Available at: <,loss%20of%20interest%20in%20school%20More%20items…> [Accessed 27 January 2021].

NDNA, n.d. Safeguarding and child protection in nurseries | England Knowledge Hub | NDNA. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 27 January 2021].

Psychology today, n.d. Sexual Abuse. [online] Psychology Today. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 January 2021].

Richardson, R., 2010. Equality Priorities and Equality Objectives – the Equality Act 2010, a cautious welcome. Race Equality Teaching, 28(2), pp.6-11.