What is Safeguarding?

Safeguarding adults is about protecting those at risk of harm from suffering abuse or neglect.
People often think this would only apply to the elderly and frail. However this is not the case. Anyone can be vulnerable to abuse at any time in their life.

What is adult abuse?

Abuse of adults can happen anywhere and anytime. It can happen at work, at home, in a hospital, a residential home, or in the street.
There are different types of abuse, which include:

  • Physical - being hurt or harmed either deliberately or through rough, careless or thoughtless behaviour
  • Emotional abuse or bullying - Being humiliated or put down or made to feel anxious or frightened
  • Financial abuse or theft - someone using your money or possessions in a way that you don't want
  • Neglect - not being given the things you need to feel safe and comfortable or not making sure you get the care or treatment you need
  • Sexual abuse - being made to do something that you don't want to do
  • Discrimination - including racist, sexist or abuse about a person’s disability
  • Domestic abuse - examples include psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse or ‘honour’-based violence
  • Modern slavery - includes slavery, human trafficking and forced labour
  • Organisational abuse -  include neglect and poor care within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home
  • Self-neglect - includes not caring for personal cleanliness, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding


Responding to suspected or disclosed abuse

If an individual tells you that they have been, or are being abused you must:

  • Reassure them that you will take what they are saying seriously support them to communicate in the best way for them
  • Tell them you cannot keep what they are telling you a secret as you have a duty to protect them from harm
  • Listen carefully to what they are telling you
  • Reassure them that they will be involved in decisions about what will happen
  • And finally, do not be judgemental or jump to conclusions.

You should record what the person tells you and use their own words where possible to ensure that it is non-biased and you do not forget any details. The report should be factual and not contain your views.