This week (14-18 November) is #NationalSafeguardingWeek, which aims to promote awareness around types of abuse, to explain where to access support and advise on how to stop it happening.
Throughout the week, North Wales Police will focus on highlighting the signs of abuse of vulnerable adults.
We will be sharing details of support agencies that are committed to safeguarding the most vulnerable members of our communities.
Every day, vulnerable adults are being hurt, bullied, stolen from, intimidated, threatened and neglected.
If that person is old, has a disability, impairment, or a mental health problem, they may find it difficult to stop what is happening.
Clearly, these kinds of behaviour are wrong. Where abuse is happening, we will investigate and find a way to stop it. We will make sure the person affected is put right at the centre of how it’s dealt with.
Sometimes the person causing harm is a family member, or someone who is paid to care for them. Sometimes the person is thought of as a friend.
Incidents of abuse could take place in their own home, a care home, a hospital or college. It may happen in a social place, like a pub or park.
Types of Abuse
There are many types of abuse, including:
Physical Abuse - such as hitting, pushing, pinching, shaking, misusing medication, scalding and the misuse or illegal use of restraint.
Emotional Abuse – such as threats, deprivation of contact, shouting, ignoring, cruelty, bullying, humiliation, coercion, negating the right of the adult at risk to make choices and undermining self-esteem.
Sexual Abuse - rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, could not consent or was pressured into consenting.
Neglect – such as a failure to provide for medical, social or educational needs or withholding necessities such as food, drink and warmth and a lack of protection from hazards.
Cuckooing – the criminal exploitation of vulnerable people involving the use of their homes as a base for criminal activities, through intimidation or in exchange for drugs.
Financial Abuse - Theft or fraud, exploitation, undue pressure in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions. The misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits. The misuse of an enduring power of attorney or a lasting power of attorney
Discriminatory Abuse - occurs where there is abuse or unfair treatment motivated because by age, gender, sexuality, disability, religion, class, culture, language, and race or ethnic origin.
Institutional Abuse - the mistreatment, abuse or neglect of an adult at risk by a regime or group of individuals. It takes place in settings and services that adults at risk live in or use.
Who can abuse?
Anyone can be an abuser; a friend, relative, neighbour, carer, or someone providing a support service. Abuse doesn’t just take place in homes or care homes, it can happen anywhere, such as on the street, in a park or at a leisure centre for example.
Signs to look out for include:
Bruising, finger marks or other injuries for which the person cannot give a good reason
Weight loss or deterioration of health for no apparent reason
Inappropriate or inadequate clothing
Withdrawal or mood changes
Increased number of visitors to the person’s address through the day and night
A carer who is unwilling to allow others access to the person
An individual who is unwilling to be alone with a particular carer
An unexplained shortage of money
If you are worried about someone and would like help, please don’t stay silent.
Help and support is available.
In an emergency always contact the police by dialling 999.If it is not an emergency but would like to talk with the police, dial 101 or one of the recommended helplines below.
Action on Elder Abuse: 0808 8088 141
DASU North Wales Visit website for local helpline - Home » DASU North Wales
Respect 0808 8024040
Men’s advice line 0808 8010327
Action Fraud https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Hourglass 0808 808 8141
Age UK 0800 678 1602
Victim Help Centre North Wales: 0300 3030 159
Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
BAWSO 0800 731 8147
Modern Slavery & exploitation helpline 08000 121 700