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Safeguarding Adults: Guidance

Adult Abuse is Everybody's Business: What to do if you suspect an adult is subject to abuse or neglect.

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Every adult has the right to:

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

Local Authorities, police the health service and others are working together to try and prevent abuse from happening and stopping it when it does happen.

The abuse and/or neglect of an adult at risk is far more common than most of us think. We know that people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and the elderly and infirm have an increased risk of abuse due to their vulnerability.

This could be physical, emotional, sexual, discriminatory abuse or neglect including self neglect and very often at the hands of people in positions of trust like family, friends or paid carers in the community or working in care and nursing homes

If you suspect an adult is being taken advantage of, speak up now.


Who are adults at risk?

For the purposes of safeguarding an adult at risk is someone aged 18 or over who has care and support needs. This might be because of:

  • mental health problems
  • physical disability
  • learning disability

This list is not exhaustive.


What is abuse?

Abuse is the violation of an individual's human or civil rights by any other person or persons. This might include:

  • Physical abuse - which can include slapping or pinching
  • Financial abuse - which can include misuse of money or benefits
  • Domestic abuse - which includes acts of physical violence, harassment or withholding money
  • Neglect - which includes inadequate care or food depravation

There are 10 types of abuse - you can find out more information across our Safeguarding Adults webpages.


What to do if you suspect an adult at risk is subject to abuse or neglect

Act now. If you are or know about an adult at risk who might be subject to abuse or neglect please contact West Berkshire Council Safeguarding Adults Team who will assess the situation unless a crime has been committed, in which case you should contact the police (dial 999 for all emergencies or 101 for all non emergency enquiries).


What we will do

We will listen to you and help you decide what to do next, help you to stay safe and try to stop with abuse happening again.


Easy read version and printing this guidance

We have produced an Icon for pdf Easy Read leaflet version of this guidance [1MB] .

You can download and print our Icon for pdf print version of the Safeguarding Adults guidance [1MB] .

If you require this information in an alternative format or translation, please contact the Safeguarding Adults Co-ordinator on 01635 519056, who will be able to help.

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