Disability, illness or frailty means that many adults over the age of 18 have to rely on other people to help them in their day-to-day living. Sadly, it is because they have to depend on others that they become vulnerable and at risk of abuse, very often from people they know such as a relative, friend, neighbour or paid carer.
How you can help
If you see, or know of, a worrying situation, please do not ignore it. Tell us about your concerns by calling us:
Forms of abuse
There are different forms of abuse or neglect:
- Physical abuse - being hit or slapped, being given the wrong medication on purpose, being locked in somewhere, tied up or force fed.
- Sexual abuse - being touched or kissed when it is not wanted, being made to touch or kiss someone else, being made to watch pornography, being raped, getting something (e.g. gifts or money) as a result of performing sexual acts which a person could not or did not consent to.
- Emotional abuse - being threatened, not being given choices, being bullied, being deliberately left alone for a long time, being tormented.
- Financial abuse - having money or personal property stolen, being tricked out of benefits, someone borrowing money and not paying it back, being bullied into letting other people use credit cards or cheques.
- Neglect - not being given enough to eat or drink, being left in dirty or wet clothes, being given the wrong medication or not being given medication at all, someone not calling a doctor or nurse when help is needed.
- Discriminatory abuse - ignoring religious beliefs, making comments or jokes about a person's disability, race or sexuality, not providing food to meet dietary requirements.
- Organisational abuse - repeated instances of poor care or treatment in a service.
- Domestic abuse - abuse perpetrated by someone who is, or has been, a family member or intimate partner.
- Self-neglect - when a person is unable to look after themselves meaning that their health, wellbeing or safety is affected.
- Modern slavery - when a person is forced to work for no money, they may be owned or controlled by an employer or moved from different areas or abroad.
- Abuse can happen in a person's own home, in a residential or nursing home or a day centre or hospital.
What happens next?
Get in touch with us about your concerns, and we will do something about it. This may mean acting directly on your information and/or contacting other services to put an end to an abusive or neglectful situation.
We take all concerns about safeguarding seriously. When you contact us we will listen to you and agree a possible action plan to keep the vulnerable person safe. We will keep you informed about what is happening.
We will consider whether we need to carry out an assessment or an investigation. We may also speak to the person at risk about what has happened to them, so that they can make an informed choice about any help they might need, or any action they may wish to take. If they are unable to make an informed choice, we will take care to support and protect them.