WHAT TO DO IF...
Together we can safeguard and protect adults at risk of harm or abuse,
and prevent and stop abuse from happening.
We are asking you to hear it > see it > say it.
Keeping people safe
We work closely with our partners to identify and prevent the abuse of adults at risk. Some adults may be unable to protect themselves from harm resulting in their quality of life being damaged. Harm or abuse may be a one-off or can go on for longer periods. It can happen anywhere. It may be deliberate or it may be unintentional.
Which adults may be at risk of harm or abuse?
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.
Organisations continue to have a duty of care to adults who purchase their own care independently i.e. self funders.
What is harm?
Harm is defined as:
A single act or repeated acts.
An act of neglect or a failure to act.
Multiple acts, for example an adult at risk may be neglected and also being financially harmed.
Categories of Harm?
Physical Abuse: Including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
Domestic violence: including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; 'honour' based violence.
Domestic abuse is about intimate partners and other family members who are 16 and above who may be the victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. Victims under the age of 18 should have support from Children's Services. In 2013, the Home Office announced changes to the definition of domestic abuse so it now includes an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse by someone who is or has been an intimate partner or family member regardless of gender or sexuality.
Psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; 'honour' based violence; Female Genital Mutilation; forced marriage. For domestic violence this refers to those age 16 and upwards.
Forced Marriage: Although forcing someone into a marriage and/or luring someone overseas for the purpose of marriage is a criminal offence the civil route and the use of.
Forced Marriage Protection Orders: is still available and can be used as an alternative to entering the criminal justice system. It may be that perpetrators will automatically be prosecuted where it is overwhelmingly in the public interest to do so, however, victims should be able to choose how they want to be assisted.
Exploitation by radicalisation: The Home Office leads on the anti-terrorism PREVENT strategy, of which CHANNEL is part (refer to www.gov.uk for information). This aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting extremism. All local organisations have a role to play in safeguarding people who meet the criteria. Contact should be made with Dorset Police regarding any individuals identified that present concern regarding violent extremism.
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 or does not have the mental capacity to consent.
Sexual exploitation: The term "sexual exploitation" means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.
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.
Internet/cyberbullying; can be defined as the use of technology and particularly mobile phones and the internet, to deliberately hurt, upset, harass or embarrass someone else. It can be an extension of face to face bullying, with the technology offering the bully another route for harassing their victim, or can be simply without motive.
Cyberbullying can occur using practically any form of connected media, from nasty text and image messages using mobile phones , to unkind blog and social networking posts, or emails and instant messages, to malicious websites created solely for the purpose of intimidating an individual or virtual abuse during an online multi-player game.
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 a persons own home. This may be a one off incident or on-going ill treatment. It can refer to neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.
Neglect and acts of omission: includes ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and and support of educational services, equipment, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
Self-neglect: This includes a broad spectrum of behaviour. The Care Act 2014 statutory guidance defines self neglect as: "a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for ones personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding". Self neglect is recognised as the failure or unwillingness to meet your own basic care needs required to maintain health.
Who might abuse?
Sadly it can be anyone including relatives and friends. Research by Action on Elder Abuse suggests that as many as one in eleven older people in the UK are mistreated or neglected by those they trust the most. Two thirds of these are abused by members of their own family. Care staff, too, can be abusers. There are a few examples where the abusers have deliberately chosen to work in environments where there will be vulnerable people, such as those with learning disabilities.
Where does it happen?
Abuse can happen anywhere - in a person’s home, in the street, in a residential or nursing home, at a day centre or resource centre, in a hospital or indeed any place where adults at risk might be.
If you believe that someone is being abused contact Adult Social Care or the Police. Adult Social Care and the Police will then coordinate investigations into alleged abuse.
Contact as soon as possible:
Out of Hours Service
If you see harm or abuse happening when you are an employee or a visitor, you must report it. If you don’t, no one else may and the harm may continue.
The well-being of the service user comes first and every employee has a common law ‘duty of care’ which means they have a responsibility to:
If you are worried action may be taken against you by your employer, you are protected so long as you are making the disclosure in good faith, reasonably believe that the information is substantially true, not acting for personal gain and you are acting reasonably taking into account the circumstances.
Anonymous alerters will always be:
For more information: www.direct.gov.uk/Whistleblowing
Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Policy
Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Procedures
Multi-Agency Self-Neglect and Hoarding Guidance
If someone tells you they are being abused:
Stay calm and listen to them.
Take what you are being told seriously.
Offer support to help them access support to stop the abuse happening.
Be aware that medical or other evidence might be needed so keep the evidence safe.
Write down what the person tells you in their own words.
Contact Adult Social Care or the Police at once.
Ask the person for more details (these can be taken later).
Assume that someone else is aware of the situation and will take action.
Contact the person alleged to have caused harm.
Promise to keep it a secret.
Be afraid to contact Adult Social Care or the Police to discuss it.
More information can be found in: Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Procedures
If you believe a child or young person is at risk, please contact:
What should I do if I am being abused?
Contact as soon as possible:
Out of Hours Service
What will happen next?
If you contact Adult Social Care, you will be asked for relevant information about the person you are concerned about, and who is the alleged abuser. You will be asked what you heard or saw. Information will then be shared on a “need to know” basis, but you will be kept informed about who has to be told - for example, the Police if a crime may have been committed.
Together all the relevant agencies will work with the person who may be being abused, to establish what has happened, and what action the person would like to be taken next. Work will also be done with the alleged abuser, and different options will be explored which will prevent, reduce or stop further abuse from happening.
If you report abuse to us we:
Break the silence. Contact Adult Social Care or the Police; you will be listened to and given advice about what to do.
Additional Information - Protecting people from rogue doorstep traders
Vulnerable people may feel pressured into buying goods or services from traders who call at their home. Read the "Guide to Buying on the Doorstep" and "Protecting People You Care About From Rogue Doorstep Traders" to find out more about doorstep trading and how to protect people you know from being abused in this way.