Does someone you know seem frightened around certain people or unusually down or withdrawn? Do they look dirty or not dressed properly, or have they had an injury that’s hard to explain? These could be signs of adult abuse.
This Safeguarding Week, organisations across the county are raising awareness of adult abuse.
The message behind the week-long campaign is that if you or someone you know is being abused, speak up – help is out there.
Adult abuse is when someone hurts an ‘adult at risk’ – someone who may need more help than others to live their lives and stay safe. An adult at risk may be an older person, they might have a disability, physical or mental health problem, or be misusing drugs or alcohol.
There are many types of abuse, such as:
- Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
- Financial abuse – this is when people take money or belongings without asking
- Neglect – this is when people who are there to help do not look after people properly
- Discrimination – this is when people treat others badly or unfairly because they are different
- Institutional abuse – this is when paid staff in a hospital or care home do not care properly or respect people’s rights
- Domestic abuse – this is threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are, or have been, in a relationship, or between family members
- Self-neglect – this is when people don’t look after themselves and this puts them at risk
- Modern slavery – this is when people are forced to work or are bought or sold as if they were a piece of property.
If you’re worried about an adult at risk in Norfolk, report it by calling Norfolk County Council (Adult Social Services) on 0344 800 8020 (available 24 hours a day). In an emergency, always dial 999 and speak to the police.
More information on the possible signs of abuse, along with information on reporting concerns, can be found in the Speak Up leaflet produced by the Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board or on the Safeguarding Adults Board website.