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Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse includes:

  • emotional abuse

  • threats of harm or abandonment

  • deprivation of contact

  • humiliation

  • blaming

  • controlling

  • intimidation

  • coercion

  • harrassment

  • verbal abuse

  • cyber bullying

  • isolation

  • unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks

Potential indicators of  psychological abuse


It is important not to jump to the wrong conclusions too quickly, but the following may be indicators of many different problems:

  • ambivalence about carer
  • fearfulness, avoiding eye contact, flinching on approach
  • deference
  • insomnia or the need for excessive sleep
  • change in appetite
  • unusual weight loss/gain
  • tearfulness
  • unexplained paranoia
  • low self-esteem
  • confusion, agitation
  • coercion
  • possible violation of human and/or civil rights
  • distress caused by being locked in a home or car
  • isolation – no visitors or phone calls allowed
  • inappropriate clothing
  • sensory depravation
  • restricted access to hygiene facilities
  • lack of personal respect
  • lack of recognition of individual rights
  • carer does not offer personal hygiene, medical care or regular food or drinks
  • and/or use of furniture to restrict movement.

Useful Documents

East Riding of Yorkshire Council logo
Humberside Police logo

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust logo
East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group Logo