Recognising abuse

Safeguarding Adults banner (elderly woman)

“If you see something, say something”

Don’t be afraid to report abuse!

Contact the Safeguarding team on 01803 219700 or email Safeguarding Alerts.

If you are concerned that a vulnerable adult may be at risk of abuse, please do not ignore it. You can speak, in confidence, to the Safeguarding Adults team.

If you feel someone is in immediate danger or there is an emergency situation, please call 999.

Every adult has the right to live:

  • a life free of fear
  • be treated with dignity
  • have their choices respected and not be forced to do anything against their will.

Adults at risk

Our safeguarding duties apply to any adult who:

  • “has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) 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.”

(Taken from the Care Act 2014)

What is abuse?

Abuse can take many different forms. Some of the most common are:

  • Physical abuse – such as hitting, pushing, slapping, locking someone in a room or misuse of medication.
  • Emotional and psychological abuse – such as bullying, taunting or humiliating someone. Making them feel worthless, anxious or frightened.
  • Neglect – such as not providing necessary food, care or access to medical treatment.
  • Financial abuse – misusing, withholding or taking someone’s money.
  • Sexual abuse – such as inappropriate touching, forcing someone to take part in any sexual act against their will.
  • Discriminatory abuse – ill treatment due to the person’s age, gender, race, disability or religious beliefs.

What can you do if you are being abused or you see someone else being abused?

Don’t ignore it and think it will go away, get help!

You can contact our Safeguarding Team in complete confidentiality by calling 01803 219700 or by emailing Safeguarding Alerts.

If you, or the person you are calling about is in immediate danger or there is an emergency situation, please call 999.

What you can expect from us?

Your call will be taken seriously. The most important thing is as far as possible to discuss the concern with the person being abused, or their representative, without putting them at further risk of harm. If others are at risk then we will always consider what needs to be done to protect them as well.

We aim to treat all individuals with respect and dignity and ensure they are actively involved in any decision that needs to be made about their future care and wellbeing.

The New Adults Safeguarding Procedures brought in by the Care Act 2014, aim to make sure that every adult at risk is given (to the best of their ability):

  • Choice and control
  • Safety
  • Health
  • Quality of life
  • Dignity and respect

Further information

Further information can be found on the Devon Safeguarding Adults website.

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