Institutional abuse is the ill-treatment of a person (often children or elderly people) from a system of power.

This may range from acts similar to home-based child abuse, such as neglect, physical and sexual abuse, and hunger, to the effects of assistance programmes working below acceptable service standards, or relying on harsh or unfair ways to modify behaviour.

Institutional abuse can take place in variety of settings including educational institutions, care homes, nursing homes, organised/community groups, etc. and can be any of the following:

  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Neglect
  • Physical abuse
  • Psychological and emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Verbal abuse

Anyone can become a victim of institutional abuse:

  • Children
  • Elderly people
  • Adults (especially adults with learning difficulties and mental health problems)

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