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Public or independent health and social care providers may not discriminate on the grounds of disability amongst other things such as sex, race, disability, and religion. 

The Disability Discrimination Act has given public authorities including public sector health and social care providers additional legal responsibilities to positively promote equality. Although private sector providers are not legally required to comply with this act it would be good practice for them to do so.

Everyone has the right to be treated equally and express and practice their beliefs and values. Discriminatory abuse is when someone picks on you or treats you unfairly because something about you is different.  The examples 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.

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 for example by not allowing a person to follow his or her own spiritual or cultural beliefs
  • Failure to meet and take into account religious and cultural needs of an individual
  • Racist graffiti or bringing racist material, including magazine and leaflets into the vulnerable persons home

Indicators of discriminatory abuse may include:

  • A lack of choice, privacy and dignity
  • A lack of personal belongings
  • The use of punishment to the person for example by withholding food and drink from them
  • A tendency for withdrawal and isolation
  • An expression of anger, frustration or fear and anxiety
  • A lack of disabled access
  • Or being refused access to services or being excluded inappropriately.

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