Times of transition and change can be stressful and can lead people to lose support networks and leave environments where they feel comfortable and safe.
People experience many transitions in life, including the transition into adulthood and independence, starting and leaving jobs, moving into new housing, entering and ending relationships, having a family, encountering physical illness or mental health difficulties and experiencing bereavement.
Vulnerability to exploitation
Sudden and negative transitions can be particularly difficult to manage, especially if people are unable to access support during this time. The difficulties of their situation may lead them into financial difficulties, or could cause them to develop mental health difficulties or a substance dependency. These vulnerabilities can put people at greater risk of abuse and exploitation.
People who have encountered challenging transitions and life circumstances can become targets for grooming and exploitation. This is particularly the case if their desire for support and stability makes them more trusting of, or reliant on, others. For example, people who have experienced a change in financial circumstances may be targeted by loan sharks or fraudsters promising them financial security.
If someone has lost touch with their support networks they may feel isolated and have limited contact with people who could check up on their safety and wellbeing. Signs that they are being exploited are more likely to go unnoticed, further increasing their vulnerability to repeated abuse and harm.