Safeguarding vulnerable adults

Everyone has the right to live their life free from violence, fear and abuse. All adults have the right to be protected from harm or exploitation. A vulnerable adult is a person who is in need of extra support because they are elderly or have a learning disability, physical or sensory impairment or mental health problem and who is or may be unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves against harm.

Abuse can happen anywhere – in a care home, a hospital, in the workplace, at a day centre or educational establishment, in supported housing or in the street and can take many forms:

  • Physical abuse such as hitting, pushing, pinching, shaking, misusing medication, scalding, restraint, hair pulling.
  • Sexual abuse such as rape, sexual assault, or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not or could not have consented, or to which they were pressurised into consenting.
  • Psychological or emotional abuse such as threats of harm or abandonment, being deprived of social or any other form of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, being prevented from receiving services or support.
  • Financial or material abuse such as theft, fraud or exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property, or inheritance, misuse of property, possessions or benefits.
  • Neglect such as ignoring medical or physical care needs and preventing access to health, social care or educational services or withholding the necessities of life such as food, drink and heating.
  • Discriminatory abuse such as that based on race or sexuality or a person’s disability and other forms of harassment or slurs.
  • Institutional abuse can sometimes happen in care homes, care homes with nursing or hospitals when people are mistreated because of poor or inadequate care, neglect and poor practice that affects the whole of that service.

If you are being abused, you don’t have to put up with it. If someone you know is being abused, or you have a concern that they may be, you should first make sure that they’re safe if it’s possible to do so.

Tell someone you trust or call Nottingham City Council on 0300 300 33 33 if you live within the City boundaries or call Nottinghamshire County Council on 0300 500 80 80 if you live within County boundaries. If unsure where you are, call any one of the numbers and report what is happening to you, or the person you are concerned about.

Remember, if it’s an emergency, dial 999.
You can report abuse to Adult Social Care Services in the strictest confidence and your identity can be kept private.