Reporting abuse

Reporting abuse of vulnerable adults

The council works with other agencies including the police and local health services within our pledge to protect the most vulnerable.

If you are concerned that a child, young person or a vulnerable adult, is at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect, or you yourself are a victim of abuse, you should report it straight away so that the appropriate services can take the appropriate actions to prevent harm.

Safeguarding adults from abuse

Some adults may be more at risk and less able to protect themselves from harm or exploitation as a result of age, frailty, disability, illness or their lifestyle.

Adult safeguarding is about protecting an adult at risk’s right to live in safety, free from abuse or neglect. It is also about supporting them to protect themselves and make decisions about how they live their life well and safely.

If you witness, suspect or have concerns that an Adult at Risk is being abused it is your responsibility to report it.  You can do this by:

  • Report concerns to Adult Social Care First Response Team on 01925 443322, Outside of office hours ring us on 01925 444400
  • If you believe a crime has been committed contact the police on 101
  • If you believe the adult is at immediate risk of harm dial 999

We all have a responsibility to be alert to possible concerns and act to safeguard others in our families and communities who may be less able to protect themselves.

Am I, or a person I care for, an adult at risk?

In legal terms under the 2014 Care Act an “adult at risk” in safeguarding is someone who is 18 years or over, and; 

  • has needs for care and support and 
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect and 
  • as a result of those care and support needs, is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect

What is classed as abuse and neglect?

Abuse or neglect can:

  • be single or repeated acts of abuse
  • be done deliberately or unintentionally
  • be as a result of a failure of others to protect people from abuse

It can occur in many forms, for example:  

  • Physical abuse – such as hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, or restraint
  • Domestic Abuse – Includes: psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse or ‘honour-based violence’. Find out more about domestic abuse support and information.
  • Sexual abuse – such as rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, or innuendo
  • Psychological abuse – Includes: intimidation, bullying, shouting, swearing, taunting, threatening or humiliating someone.
  • Financial or material abuse – Includes: theft, fraud, forcing someone to do something in relation to their financial arrangements (for example wills, property, financial transactions), misusing or taking their money, possessions or benefits.
  • Modern slavery – Includes: Slavery (including domestic slavery), human trafficking and forced labour.
  • Discriminatory abuse – such as harassment, slurs or similar treatment
  • Organisational abuse – Organisational neglect and poor care in an institution such as a hospital, care home or care agency. This could be a culture of bullying, poor organisation, denying people choice, and lack of dignity and respect for service users.
  • Neglect and acts of omission – Includes: ignoring medical, emotional or physical-care needs, failing to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, and withholding necessities, such as medication, adequate food and drink and heating.
  • Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.

If you'd like to learn more you can read the local Safeguarding Procedures Section 2.

What kinds of people abuse others?

Anyone can abuse, including a person you might least expect. Abusers can include:

  • spouse/partner
  • carers and care workers
  • family member/relative
  • friend
  • neighbour
  • volunteer helper
  • professional worker
  • someone not known to the person

What happens next? 

Adult Social care will:

  • listen to your concerns seriously
  • they will involve relevant agencies to investigate the concerns and protect the adult
  • they will coordinate necessary actions
  • the will treat the adult with dignity and respect

Wherever possible the adult’s wishes and feelings will help determine what needs to happen.  All information will be treated confidentially.