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Adult abuse

Safeguarding adults from abuse is about making sure that adults who need extra care and support:

  • keep their independence
  • maintain their wellbeing
  • make their own choices
  • live a life that is free from fear, violence or harm.

This means that any adult who is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect should be able to get help from organisations such as Newcastle City Council or the Northumbria Police.

Help available link

What is abuse?

Abuse can be;

  • Physical – hurting you, for example being hit, slapped, kicked, burnt, held down or pushed around.
  • Sexual – somone touching or doing things to you which you don’t like. For example, making you touch or kiss someone when you do not want to. Or sexual exploitation, where you receive gifts or money for performing sexual acts which you did not consent to.
  • Psychological – saying things to upset you, like someone calling you names, threatening you or hurting your feelings.
  • Financial – somone taking your money or private things without asking. For example, someone might spend your money in a way that you do not want.
  • Neglect – someone caring for you doesn’t take care of you properly. For example they may not help you to get food, keep warm and safe or take you to the doctors for help.
  • Discriminatory – someone treats you badly because of your gender, sexuality, ability, age, religion or the colour of your skin.
  • Organisational – an organisation doesn’t look after you properly, for example a care home, hospital, day centre or a home care provider.
  • Domestic – This can be a combination of different types of abuse and is carried out by a family member or partner.
  • Self neglect – if you are unable to look after yourself you may become unwell, or your wellbeing or safety is affected.
  • Modern slavery – where someone forces you to work for no money. Modern slaves might be ‘owned’ or controlled by an ’employer’ or moved from different areas or abroad.

An abuser may be;

  • a partner, relative, friend or child
  • a paid carer or volunteer
  • a health or social care worker, or other professional
  • another adult with care and support needs
  • a stranger
  • more than one person

Abuse can take place anywhere, including in;

  • your own home
  • your family or friend’s homes
  • a public place
  • a care setting, such as in a care home or a hospital.

Help Available

If you are told about or witness an incident of adult abuse; are the victim of adult abuse; or think abuse may be happening:

To report abuse please contact:

  • Community Health and Social Care Direct
  • All agencies in Newcastle work together to protect adults from abuse. If you want to tell somebody else that you trust eg a GP, nurse, police officer or care worker, then they will pass on your concerns.

Community Health & Social Care Direct are the main point of contact in Newcastle when someone has a concern about the abuse or neglect of an adult. They are available to take calls Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm.

Action on Elder Abuse provides information and support to those affected by abuse. They have a free confidential helpline.

EDAN provides support to women living in Newcastle who are at risk of Domestic Abuse. They provide practical and emotional support and run recovery programmes

Newcastle Integrated Domestic Abuse Service  offer a domestic abuse service and can be contacted on 0191 2146501 (24 hours) and email

Newcastle Talking Therapies help people with problems such as depression, anxiety, stress, anger, fears, bereavement and relationship difficulties.

Victims First provide help to victims of crime, witnesses, their family, friends and anyone else affected.

Safeguarding Adults Unit provide advice and support to organisations about policies, procedures and best practice.  The Safeguarding Adults Unit run a professionals advice line about safeguarding adults which runs Monday-Friday, 9.30am-4.30pm tel 0191 278 8156.

What happens when abuse is reported?

All concerns are taken seriously. In response to the alert trained staff will carry out a careful and sensitive enquiry.  They willl work with the adult at risk and relevant organisations to provide information and advice.  This will help us work with you to make an informed choice about how best to care for the adult at risk. There may be a need for forth investigation in order to protect the adult, or others, from abuse.

Other Useful Information

Patient Information Centre has a range of easy to read self help guides, including one on abuse.

Respond is a telephone helpline for people with a learning disability, or their friends and family, who have experienced or been affected by organisational abuse. The helpline offers emotional support and practical advice. Regular counselling sessions are also available.

Last updated: March 15, 2018

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