A Guide on Abuse

A Tyne Housing guide on abuse.

What it is, how you can spot it, and where to go to report it.

What is Abuse?
Abuse is when someone misuses their power or control over another person causing harm or distress. An abuser could be someone close to you or even someone who you’ve had no previous connection with. Abuse can happen in many different ways and it’s important you understand the signs. If you feel you suffer from abuse or witness abuse to others you should report it as soon as possible.

Recognising Abuse
You might become aware that you or someone you know is at risk of harm when:

  • You/they feel frightened and isolated
  • You see or hear something concerning
  • You’re told directly about abuse, exploitation or neglect happening
  • A housemate, friend, family member tells you something that causes you concern You notice injuries or physical signs that cause you concern
  • You notice the victim or abuser behaving in a way that alerts something may be wrong

People who behave abusively come from all backgrounds and walks of life. They may be doctors, nurses, social workers, advocates, staff members, volunteers or others in a position of trust. They may also be relatives, friends, neighbours or people who use the same services as the person experiencing abuse. 

There are many types of abuse, all of which affect people in different ways. We’ve listed the most common types of abuse and their definitions on the last page, it’s important to understand that some abuse may involve more than one different type.

Reporting Abuse 

We understand that speaking up can sometimes feel daunting, however, professionals are there to help. Any reports are dealt with sensitively and confidentially by an experienced team. You can speak to your support worker if you feel able to, or take a look at the back page for some helpful contact details


  • In an emergency always call 999 
  • You can also contact your local police force for non-emergency’s by dialling 101

Tyne Housing 

You can speak to a member of staff or contact our head office via the below details: 

  • Tyne Housing Association, 
  • St Silas Church Building 
  • Clifford Street, Byker 
  • Newcastle Upon Tyne 
  • NE6 1PG 

FREEPHONE: 08000 489469 

OFFICE: 0191 265 8621 

EMAIL: info@tynegroup.org.uk

Types of Abuse 


Including forms of harassment, bullying, slurs, isolation, neglect, denial of access to services or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, religion or because someone is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. This includes racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia or any other form of hate incident or crime. 

Domestic abuse 

Including an incident or a pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse, by someone who is, or has been, an intimate partner or family member regardless of gender or sexual orientation. This includes psychological/emotional, physical, sexual, financial abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage or Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). 

Financial or material 

Including theft, fraud, internet scamming, exploitation, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits. 

Modern slavery 

Encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment. 

Neglect and acts of omission 

Including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to access appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating. 

Organisational (sometimes referred to as institutional) 

Including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in a person’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation 


Including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, burning, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions. 

Psychological (sometimes referred to as emotional) 

Including threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber-bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or support networks. 


Including rape, indecent exposure, sexual assault, sexual acts, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting. It also includes sexual exploitation which is exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where the person receives “something” (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, mobile phones, cigarettes, gifts, money) or perceived friendship/relationship as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing sexual acts. 

Self neglect 

Includes a person neglecting to care for their personal hygiene, health or surroundings; or an inability to provide essential food, clothing, shelter or medical care necessary to maintain their physical and mental health, emotional wellbeing and general safety. It includes behaviour such as hoarding.