Safeguarding and adult abuse

Safeguarding is everyone’s business. Your action will prevent abuse.

How to report suspected abuse

Types of abuse or neglect

Abuse is when someone seeks to hurt another person or treat them badly.

Neglect is when someone who is meant to look after another person does not look after them properly.

Abuse can take many forms:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Modern slavery
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Organisational abuse
  • Neglect and acts of omission
  • Domestic abuse
  • Self-neglect

Abuse can happen anywhere including at home, in care homes or in day care centres or hospitals. It may be a single act or take place over a longer period of time.

If you are the victim of abuse, or suspect someone else could be, it is important to get help.

Who is at risk

Anyone who may not be able to take care of or protect themselves from abuse or exploitation could be at risk. For example, an older or vulnerable person, or someone with a disability or mental health problem.

Abuse can take place anywhere. It could occur in the home, at a day centre or college, at work, in hospital, or out and about in the community.

Abuse can also be committed by anyone. It could be someone the victim is close to such as a family member, friend, or someone who provides care for them. It could also be a complete stranger.

How to get help

If you are the victim of abuse, or you know someone who you think is at risk, or has been abused, then it is important to get help.

You can report your concerns to us using a secure online form.

Other support

Our Vulnerable Adult Multi-Agency Panel considers cases of adults who remain at high risk of harm despite the best efforts of professionals or other networks to intervene.

Updated: 28 November 2016