Suffolk Police are urging victims of adult abuse to seek help as they support a national awareness campaign to highlight the issue.
Safeguarding Adults Awareness Week, which takes place this week, aims to raise awareness of how to recognise the different types of adult abuse and what to do if you think someone is being abused or is at risk of being abused.
Adults at-risk are people who need more help than others to stay safe. This can include people with disabilities, older residents, people with mental health problems or who are ill for a long time as well as people who suffer with substance or alcohol abuse.
There are many different types of abuse such as:
· Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
· Financial abuse – when people take money or belongings without asking
· Neglect – when people who are there to help do not look after people properly
· Discriminatory abuse – when people treat others badly or unfairly because they are different
· Institutional abuse – when paid staff in a hospital or care home do not care properly or respect people’s rights
· Domestic abuse – threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are, or have been, in a relationship, or between family members
· Self-neglect – when people don’t look after themselves and this puts them at risk
· Modern slavery – when people are forced to work or are bought or sold as if they were a piece of property
There are many signs of abuse, which include the person:
· Looking dirty or is not dressed properly
· Having an injury that’s difficult to explain
· Being frightened around certain people
· Being unusually down or withdrawn
· Finding money missing
Detective Chief Inspector Barry Byford said, “The abuse that vulnerable adults suffer is often hidden from view. We work closely together with partners and external organisations to identify and support those who may be victims.
“When incidents or concerns are reported to us we will always endeavour to conduct a thorough investigation and where possible, bring those who abuse and mistreat vulnerable people to justice.”
Councillor Beccy Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care at Suffolk County Council, said: “One of the best ways to protect adults at risk of abuse is by raising awareness.
“Be it financial, physical, emotional or any other form of abuse, people can get advice and support if they are being abused themselves or if they recognise abuse in other people. We know it can be difficult to report abuse, so Safeguarding Adults’ Awareness Week is a really good opportunity to make sure people know that they are not alone and they can do something to prevent or stop abuse.”
If you are worried about an adult at risk or concerned about someone’s safety, you can contact Suffolk’s Adult Social Services on 0808 800 4005 or online at https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/adult-social-care-and-health/find-local-social-care-support-or-contact-customer-first/contact-customer-first-and-social-care/customer-first-referral-form/
You can also contact the police by calling 101 or in an emergency call 999.