This requires one to have an understanding of psychology and particularly, abuse. Abuse is the cruel treatment of a person repeatedly; it can take various forms such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, dating abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and stalking among other types. Key risk factors that contribute to an individual’s vulnerability to exploitation and abuse can be broadly categorized under two characteristics: personal or individual attributes and situational or social factors.
One primary factor that is attributed to vulnerability to abuse is the low mental ability to formulate decisions concerning one’s safety. This mental incapacity is linked to illnesses as well as various inborn conditions. Apart from mental problems, being physically dependent on other people for daily activities and personal care. Most of the perpetrators of abuse are usually the closest friends or caregivers. Another factor that directly leads to proneness to abuse is communication complications. A person who cannot express him or herself becomes an easy target since the criminal knows that the person will have no ability to tell their side of the story. Also, individuals with low self-esteem are more likely to be victims of abuse as compared to people who have had positive earlier lives. Individuals with high self-esteem and self-confidence are not likely to be abused. Other factors that increase the vulnerability to abuse include isolation and exclusion, stigma, an insufficient amount of care, age, gender, and inadequacy of information and support.
Factors that may contribute to an individual being more vulnerable to abuse may also include various kinds of mental disabilities, like dementia or not having the mental capacity, if the person is secluded or isolated or otherwise vulnerable. There might occur factors for the abuser which could include the abuser having lack of the training, also abusing their power. It also might happen that personal issues have a part to play, like when carer/ abuser is stressed or having a history of ill-treatment and continuing the cycle. The factors can include low self-esteem or self-worth. If they have had abuse before, nobody did protect them, and they are mentally ill.