What is ‘safeguarding’ and ‘abuse’?
Safeguarding is about making people aware of their rights, protecting them and preventing abuse. Abuse is any action that harms another person.
Abuse of adults with care and support needs is where someone in a position of trust hurts, harms or causes someone distress. Abuse is unacceptable; everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and to live free of abuse or mistreatment, whether they live on their own, live with others, live in a care/nursing care home, attend a day centre or are in hospital.
The Care Act 2014 places a duty on local authorities to look into adult safeguarding concerns in relation to an adult who;
has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) 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.
What is abuse?
Abuse can be defined in many ways and there can be no exhaustive list. However the most recent guidance from the Government identifies the following types of abuse and neglect:
Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
Domestic abuse – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence.
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.
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
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.
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 one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.
Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour; neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
THE SAFEGUARDING ADULTS PROCESS
If you have suffered any form of abuse and you or someone else has reported this to Solihull MBC we will work with the police, health services, voluntary organisations and anyone else who can help. We will work together and share information to try and protect you from further abuse.
Once a concern is reported, Solihull adult social care will look into the concern to see what further action is required.
These contacts have been identified as useful for members of the public, organisations and professionals.
Age UK Solihull
Call: 0121 704 7840
Solihull Action Through Advocacy
Tel 0121 706 4696
Fax: 0121 706 1505
Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
‘My Life’ Web portal
SoLo – Solihull Life Opportunities
Tel: 0121 779 3865
Citizens Advice Solihull Borough
03444 111 444
Action on Elder Abuse
Helpline: 0808 808 8141