Recognising signs of abuse and knowing what to do about it

We have already seen that abuse is categorised under several headings, although it must be noted that more than one from of abuse can happen at the same time. The list can include Physical, Psychological, Sexual, Financial, Neglect, Discriminatory, and Institutional abuse. All forms of abuse have a negative emotional impact and the abused person may suffer feelings of insecurity, fear, rejection, hopelessness, a loss of self-respect and self-worth.

Such damaging emotions inevitably affect the person’s physical and mental health. Signs of abuse or neglect may include sudden changes in behaviour, expressions of anxiety, isolation or withdrawal. Other signs could be bruising, pain, or sudden unexplained changes to appearance

Anyone who has contact with vulnerable adults and hears disclosures or allegations, or has concerns about potential abuse or neglect has a duty to pass them on appropriately.

Adults are generally deemed to have capacity to make decisions for themselves. However in cases of suspected abuse where a vulnerable adult is unable or reluctant to report it themselves, seeking the necessary permission to make contact with an appropriate agency is not required. However immediate guidance should be obtained from the minister or safeguarding officer if it is thought this should be done.

In the Sheffield District here are the contact details for the Adult Safeguarding Services:

Tel: 0114 273 4567

Tel: 01226 775656

Tel 01302 736296

Tel: 01709 822330

Tel: 0300 500 80 80

Tel: 01629 533190