Anyone can carry out abuse or neglect, including:

  • Spouses/partners;
  • Other family members;
  • Neighbours;
  • Friends;
  • Acquaintances;
  • Local residents;
  • People who deliberately exploit adults they perceive as vulnerable to abuse;
  • Paid staff or professionals; and
  • Volunteers and strangers


While a lot of attention is paid, for example, to targeted fraud or internet scams perpetrated by complete strangers, it is far more likely that the person responsible for the abuse or neglect is known to the adult and is in a position of trust and power.