Behaviours of institutional abuse

From a young age, we are taught to trust institutions. Whether it is our family, our schools, or even the government, we are told that these organizations have our best interests at heart. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. institutional abuse is a serious problem that can have a lasting impact on its victims. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the behaviours of institutional abuse.

One of the most common indicators of institutional abuse is a power imbalance. When there is a clear power differential between staff and those in their care, it creates an environment where abuse can flourish. This can be seen in settings like nursing homes, where elderly residents may be unable to protect themselves from abusive staff members. Other examples include religious institutions, where clergy may use their power to coerce or silence victims, and schools, where teachers may use their authority to bully or harass students. 

Another red flag is when an institution becomes overly secretive or secretive. This can happen when an organization is trying to cover up something, like financial mismanagement or sexual misconduct. This secrecy can take many forms, such as withholding information, refusing to answer questions, or restricting access to certain areas. In some cases, institutions may go so far as to threaten those who try to speak out. 

Some many signs and behaviours may indicate that institutional abuse is taking place. Signs and behaviours of institutional abuse:

  • A child, young person, or adult being isolated from family, friends, or other persons with whom they have a close personal relationship 
  • A child, young person, or adult being humiliated, degraded, treated harshly, or belittled 
  • Unexplained changes in behaviour such as increased fearfulness or withdrawn behaviour in a child, young person, or adult 
  • Sudden changes in eating habits or weight loss/gain 
  • Unexplained injuries/bruises/burns/scalds/cuts/ grazes etc 
  • Sexualised behaviour or comments 
  • Reporting feeling unsafe or threatened  
  •  Behaviour that is intended to humiliate, degrade or otherwise control an individual
  • Isolating an individual from their family, friends or other support networks
  • Withholding essential items, such as food, water or medication
  • Physical restraint or violence
  • Sexual harassment or assault
  • psychologically abusive behaviour, such as gaslighting or manipulation

If you see any of the above signs or behaviours in a child, young person, or adult within an institution, it is important to speak up and report your concerns. By doing so, you may be able to help prevent further harm and get the individual the help they need.

If you witness any of these behaviours of institutional abuse, it is important to report them to the authorities. Institutional abuse can have a profound and lasting impact on the victims, and action must be taken to stop it.