Suspected abuse or neglect

Woman peering through blinds

Every adult should be able to live freely without fear, to make the choices they wish and to be treated with respect.

Disability, illness, or frailty means that many adults have to rely on other people to help them in their for support in their day to day living. Sometimes these people can find themselves vulnerable and at risk of abuse. Often the people who are carry out the abuse are in a position of trust, perhaps a friend, family member, carer or neighbour.

Understanding abuse

Abuse can be deliberate, unintentional or accidental. It can take many forms. It can be:

  • Physical abuse, for example hitting, pushing, biting, pinching, slapping, restraint or misuse of medicines.
  • Psychological or emotional abuse, for example intimidation, shouting and swearing. Often people subject to this type of abuse feel frightened and tormented by such behaviour.
  • Sexual abuse. This can range from improper contact, unwanted touching and kissing through to sexual intercourse and exploitation.
  • Financial abuse. This could involve items, money or property being stolen or taken under duress.
  • Neglect. This could involve people being deprived of food, water or appropriate care, or deprived privacy or social contact, or misuse of medicines.
  • Discrimination. This is where people suffer abuse due to their gender, sexuality, religion, culture or if they have a disability.
  • Domestic violence. This includes physical, sexual or psychosocial and so-called “honour” based violence within known relationships or within the same household.
  • Modern Slavery, such as human trafficking, forced labour, domestic servitude with exploitation, slave masters and inhumane treatment.
  • Institutional or organisational, for example where things are arranged or set up to meet the needs of the staff rather than the service user.
  • Self-neglect. This is failure to care for one’s own essential health needs or surroundings - for example, behaviours such as extreme hoarding - that could lead to harm.

Stockport's Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Board

Stockport’s Safeguarding Adults Board has membership from the Council, police, NHS, and representatives from independent care providers and the voluntary sector. Its aim is to ensure all vulnerable adults remain safe, and that any alleged cases of abuse are investigated. The board ensures all organisations work together and have the same procedures and policies in place to ensure vulnerable adults are protected.

Stockport's multi-agency policy for safeguarding adults at risk

Stockport's multi-agency policy for safeguarding adults at risk and procedures for responding to and investigating abuse were updated in January 2016.
Download the policy and procedures

Safeguarding Adult's Reviews

Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) aim to determine what the relevant agencies and individuals involved in a case might have done differently that could have prevented harm or death. This is so that lessons can be learned from the case and those lessons applied to future cases to prevent similar harm occurring again.

More information here: Safeguarding Adult's Reviews

Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) Online Referral Form


Is there anything you can do?

Members of the public should be on the lookout for incidents of abuse. Abuse can occur anywhere that vulnerable people live, perhaps in their own home, in a nursing home, in day care or in a hospital

Due to the nature of abuse, victims are often too scared to come forward, so if you feel someone is being abused you should report it to the Adult Social Care Team at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Adult Social Care Team can also offer advice and support to victims of abuse, and provide information on any future action they may wish to take against their abusers. If the victim cannot make decisions on their own, measures will be put in place to protect them.

What to do if you think someone might be at risk

In the first instance you should contact the Adult Social Care Team (click on Contact us below). If it is an emergency you should can contact the police on 101 or 999.

Contact us