Worried about someone

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

However, some adults are more at risk of abuse than others. This may be because they are less able to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm, or because they depend on others to help them with their day-to-day living. Sadly, it is because they have to depend on others that they become vulnerable and at risk, often from people they know such as a relative, friend, neighbour or paid carer or a stranger.

What is abuse or neglect?

Abuse can take many forms and can be either deliberate or accidental. Whether someone is experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect will depend on the individual circumstances of what is happening. Here are some examples of types of abuse and neglect:

  • Physical, for example hitting, slapping, pushing or inappropriately physically restraining, or the mismanagement of medication
  • Sexual, for example unwanted touching, kissing or sexual intercourse
  • Psychological,  for example shouting or swearing to make another person afraid
  • Financial or material, for example taking money or belongings under pressure or misusing without consent
  • Modern Slavery, for example human trafficking, forced labour, slavery and domestic servitude
  • Discriminatory, for example suffering abuse or neglect on the grounds of religion, culture, gender, sexuality or disability
  • Organisational, for example unsatisfactory professional practice, pervasive ill treatment or gross misconduct indicating an abusive climate
  • Neglect, for example not being properly cared for, mismanaging medication or being denied privacy, choice or social contact
  • Domestic Abuse, for example psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse or, so called, ‘honour-based violence' 
  • Self–neglect, for example neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings, or hoarding.

Abuse can take place anywhere including in a person's own home, in a care home or day centre or in hospital. It may be a single act or take place over a longer period of time.

What are the signs?

If someone is suffering abuse, you may notice one or a combination of the following:

  • Multiple bruising or finger marks
  • Injuries the person cannot give a good reason for
  • Worsening health for no reason
  • Weight loss
  • Withdrawal or mood changes
  • Tearfulness
  • Neediness, wanting affection or being clingy
  • An unexplained shortage of money
  • Inappropriate, dirty or inadequate clothing
  • A carer who is unwilling to let other people have access with the person.

What to do if you are worried about someone 

Everyone has the right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. If you know someone who you think is at risk, it is important to get help because victims can often feel too scared to come forward.

If someone is in immediate danger, always make sure they are safe first. If emergency help is needed, dial 999.

You can report your concerns online or by contacting the Adult Access team. They can offer advice and support to victims of abuse, and provide information on any future action they may wish to take against their abusers. They will also support the victim if they are not able to make decisions on their own and put measures in place to protect them.


Useful contacts:

Richmond Council Adult Access Team
Address: Adult Social Services, Civic Centre, 44 York Street, Twickenham, TW1 3BZ
Phone: 020 8891 7971
Minicom: 18001 020 8891 7971
Email: adultsocialservices@richmond.gov.uk

If you suspect criminal abuse is involved contact the Police by dialling 101.