Adult safeguarding and abuse

Reporting abuse

If you think that an adult with care and support needs is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect, contact us 24 hours-a-day on:

01926 412080

Our adult social care teams can offer advice and support to the person and/or their carers and, where necessary, arrange appropriate services.

Depending on the type of abuse you may wish to contact Warwickshire Police.

What is adult safeguarding?

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action.

Who are we trying to help?

Many adults, because of illness or disability, may be unable to protect themselves from abuse. Adults with care and support needs may be certain older people, people with learning disabilities, physically disabled people, people with mental ill-health or those with a short or long-term illness.

Adult social care in Warwickshire will make enquiries, or ask other agencies to make enquiries, whenever they think an adult with care and support needs may be at risk of abuse or neglect in Warwickshire.

What is abuse?

Abuse and neglect can be defined in many ways and there can be no exhaustive list, however the most recent guidance from the government identifies the following types of abuse and neglect:

  • Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
  • Domestic abuse – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence. Talk2someone – more information on domestic abuse
  • Sexual abuse – including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.
  • Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
  • Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
  • Modern slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.
  • Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
  • Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.
  • Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition 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.

Who abuses and where does it happen?

Anyone can carry out abuse or neglect, including:

  • spouses/partners;
  • other family members;
  • neighbours;
  • friends;
  • acquaintances;
  • local residents;
  • people who deliberately exploit adults they perceive as vulnerable to abuse;
  • paid staff or professionals; and
  • volunteers and strangers.

While a lot of attention is paid, for example, to targeted fraud or internet scams perpetrated by complete strangers, it is far more likely that the person responsible for abuse is known to the adult and is in a position of trust and power.

Abuse can happen anywhere: for example, in someone’s own home, in a public place, in hospital, in a care home or in college. It can take place when an adult lives alone or with others.

What happens after you report abuse?

We will always take it seriously when someone tells us about abuse, or a situation which they think could lead to abuse. Everyone is different and will need different support or advice depending on their situation.

We will always make sure that an adult at risk of abuse receives the help and support they need to take action on their own behalf, to make choices and to retain control over their life.

Leaflet – What happens after you report abuse (pdf, 224 Kb)

Safe Places

Safe Places are community places (e.g. a shop, community centre) where you can go to get help if you feel unsafe or at risk when you are out and about.
Safe Places – more information

Adult safeguarding and abuse was last updated on March 31, 2015.