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What is abuse?

Abuse can come in many forms, in different places, and at different times. No matter who is doing it, or where it is happening, it is still abuse. The Safeguarding Adults Board have listed definitions of abuse and created helpful links, resources and agencies to support residents and professionals.

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Who is an adult at risk?

Some adults may be less able to protect themselves from violence, because of mental or other disability, age or illness. Where a person is an adult at risk the local authority has a duty to help to safeguard the adult.

Who might be causing the abuse?

The person who is responsible for the abuse is often well known to the person being harmed. They could be:

  • A relative, friend or neighbour;
  • A paid or unpaid carer;
  • A personal assistant;
  • A health or social care worker;
  • Another vulnerable adult;
  • Someone who is supposed to provide a service; or
  • A stranger.

Where can abuse happen?

Abuse can happen anywhere. It could be in someone's home, in a residential or nursing home, a hospital, at work, at a day centre, at college, in supported housing or in the street.

No matter what kind of abuse it is, or who is causing it, abuse is not the victim’s fault. Help is available.

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