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Protecting adults at risk

Protecting Adults at Risk of Abuse and Neglect

Everyone has the right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

Abuse and neglect can occur anywhere: at home or a public place, while in hospital or attending day centres, in education or care homes.

Who is vulnerable?

The Care Act 2014 applies to any person over the age of 18 or above whom:

  • Has needs for care and support (regardless of the level of need and whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
  • Is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect, and
  • As a result of those needs, is unable to protect themselves against abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

Local authorities (including the Police) must promote wellbeing when carrying out any of their care and support functions in respect of a person, and that person should be entitled to participate as fully as possible in decisions at every stage in their care.

What is wellbeing?

  • Personal Dignity including respect
  • Physical, mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Protection from abuse and neglect
  • Control by the individual over day-to-day life
  • Participation in work, education, training or recreation
  • Social and economic wellbeing
  • Domestic, family and personal relationships
  • Suitability of living accommodation

What is abuse?

A person may be living alone or with others. The person causing the harm may be a stranger, but more often than not the person is known, and it can be the case that the victim will usually feel safe with them. They are usually in a position of trust and power, such as a health and care professional, relative or neighbour.

There are many forms of abuse including:

  • Physical abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Modern slavery
  • Self-neglect

A person is more at risk of abuse at home if:

  • They are isolated
  • They don’t have contact with family, friends or neighbours
  • They have difficulty communicating
  • They have memory problems
  • The person is dependent upon someone as a carer
  • The carer relies on the person for a home, financial or emotional support

What are the signs to look out for?

The person may:

  • Have physical signs such as bruises, burns, other injuries
  • Malnutrition
  • The person may become withdrawn and isolated
  • There may be new people living at their address
  • The person may appear unkempt
  • Their housing may appear neglected and in need of repair

If you can, check on your elderly relative, friend or neighbour.  Sometimes just seeing a person is enough.

Concerned about someone you know?

Contact Social Care directly on 03456037630

Call the Elder Abuse Hotline on 080 8808 8141

You should call Essex Police on 101 to report your suspicion or if you cannot phone use our report a non-emergency crime to provide the information (link).  If you wish to remain anonymous you can report via crime stoppers 0800 555 111 or submit information via their Anonymous Online Form.

How can Essex Police help me as a victim?

Essex Police will believe you, your safety and welfare are paramount.  Essex Police will work with you and our partner agencies to provide protection, safeguarding, and support for you.  Essex Police will investigate and seek to bring to justice those who exploit or harm others

Where can I find more information?

More information can be found under 'Useful Links'.

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