Discriminatory abuse

Discriminatory abuse is when someone picks on you or treats you unfairly because something about you is different. This can include unfair or less favourable treatment due to a person's race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexuality, appearance or cultural background. 

Everyone has the right to be treated equally and express and practice their beliefs and values. 

What you should do

If you, or another adult you know is being harmed in any way by another person, please do not ignore it. You should contact:

  1. Social Care Direct on 020 8359 5000 or
  2. The Police on 101, but in an emergency always call 999

Any information you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence. To find out about what happens after you report abuse:

Discriminatory abuse can include:

  • unequal treatment due to race, gender, religion, age, sexuality or disability 
  • verbal abuse, inappropriate language, slurs, harassment and deliberate exclusion 
  • denial of basic human and civil rights e.g. allowing people to follow their own spiritual or cultural beliefs or choice about their own sexuality
  • failure to meet and take into account religious and cultural needs of an individual 
  • racist graffiti or bringing racist material (magazines, leaflets) into the vulnerable individuals home

Signs of discriminatory abuse may include:

  • lack of choice
  • lack of privacy and dignity
  • lack of personal belongings
  • use of punishment - withholding food and drink 
  • tendency for withdrawal and isolation
  • expression of anger or frustration or fear and anxiety
  • lack of disabled access 
  • being refused access to services or being excluded inappropriately

The examples and indicators of discriminatory abuse may take the form of any of the other types of abuse. The difference is that the abuse is motivated by discriminatory attitudes, feelings or behaviour towards an individual.

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