‘Discriminatory Abuse’ in Safeguarding Adults: LGBTQ+ Perspectives

Karl Mason, Adi Cooper

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Introduction – ‘Discriminatory abuse’ is a safeguarding adults’ category in England. It refers to harassment and slurs that are targeted at people who have care and support needs on the basis of a range of protected characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity. Reporting on this category is very low in practice, as discriminatory dynamics can hide behind more obvious categories of abuse such as physical abuse that is also homophobic, biphobic or transphobic. As a result, this is also an under-researched area. This presentation aims to draw out the ways in which this is an important way of categorising abuse that is experienced by LGBTQ+ people who also have care and support needs.

Aim & Objectives – This presentation draws on an analysis of literature and published case reviews to consider the ways in which discriminatory abuse is experienced by people who are LGBTQ+ and how LGBTQ+ individuals may experience such abuse in different ways to people with other protected characteristics

Methods – The presentation is based on a literature review and thematic analysis of case reviews regarding discriminatory abuse and the ways it may impact people who identify as LGBTQ+

Findings/Outcomes – The presentation will highlight that LGBTQ+ experiences of discriminatory abuse are rarely commented on in the safeguarding adults’ literature. Particular issues are raised regarding hidden or less visible aspects of identity, intersectional aspects of identity and how identity is treated within institutions such as care homes, public services or religious congregations.

Discussion/Conclusion – The presentation will argue that discriminatory abuse is under-reported and this has particular implications for safeguarding people who are LGBTQ+. These particularly suggest that a more inclusive approach to discriminatory abuse at both practice and strategic levels is important.

Implication(s) for Practice – Both practice and strategic development is required to improve recognition of and responses to discriminatory abuse and this is particularly relevant to working with people who identify as LGBTQ+.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2023
EventInternational Sexuality and Social Work Conference 2023: Everyday gender and sexuality: justice, rights and activism in social work and helping professions - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Jul 202319 Jul 2023
Conference number: 5


ConferenceInternational Sexuality and Social Work Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleISSWC 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • LGBTQ+
  • Sexuality
  • Safeguarding Adults
  • Gender Identity
  • Hate Crime
  • Discriminatory Abuse

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