Almost 8,000 cases of alleged adult abuse were reported to the HSE last year.
The National Safeguarding Committee (NSC) is highlighting the figures as they launch a public information campaign to improve protection for vulnerable adults.
The main types of abuse experienced were physical, psychological, financial and neglect.
Patricia Rickard Clarke, Chairperson of the NSC, says they are conducting a poll to gauge public awareness of abuse.
"Obviously people don't realise at the moment, certainly the indications from the RedC poll indicate the public understanding of what constitutes abuse, there's a lack of understanding of that," she said.
"It can be subtle and people are not aware, in many instances, that they are actually committing abuse against vulnerable people."