The Long Term Effects of Harm and Abuse on an Individual

Examples of the Long terms effects of harm and abuse on individuals include:

  • Disempowerment (loss of confidence and person control over their own life)
  • Loss of self esteem
  • Having their safety and well-being compromised on an ongoing basis if it is not addressed
  • Mental ill health
  • Loss of confidence and trust in others
  • Loss of ability to differentiate between someone who can be trusted and someone who cannot. Failure to understand the difference between a friend or someone who will exploit (i.e. it is important to understand the difference between being ‘groomed’ and genuine relationships and this may be difficult for some people)
  • Greater likelihood of being abused again
  • If financial abuse has taken place over a long period or involved a large sum permanent loss of income or property

It is important that staff understand that if perpetrators feel they have ‘got away with it’ they might be likely to do it again to both the same person and/or to others.

In some cases the perpetrator may lack mental capacity and also be an adult at risk. Therefore, it is important not to blame a person but that staff have a duty of care to protect others from abuse and take steps to prevent the perpetrator from being given the opportunities to continue to abuse.

It is also important to understand that people who have experienced abuse themselves may engage in abuse of others because they do not understand the boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

Use to answer question 10.1h of the Care Certificate

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