Information for Patients

Our Trust is committed to the safeguarding of people of all ages and we work closely with local social services to help safeguard children and adults.

What do we mean by abuse?

Abuse is when someone hurts or harms you.
Abuse can happen once or lots times. It may be done on purpose.

Who could be hurt or harmed?

People with learning disabilities may be more at risk than others.
People who need help with their care or support.

Who can abuse?

Anyone can be an abuser.

Where does it happen?

Abuse can happen anywhere.

Different types of abuse

  • Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate physical sanctions.
  • Sexual abuse - including rape, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.
  • Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, isolation or unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
  • Financial / material abuse – including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
  • Modern slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.
  • Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
  • Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.
  • Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
  • Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.

What should you do if someone tells you they are being abused?

  • Stay calm and listen to them.
  • Take them seriously listen to them and believe them.
  • Contact Adult Social Care Services or the Police.

If in hospital, tell a member of staff

If you think someone is at risk of immediate harm.
Contact the Police by calling 999.

What if you are being abused, hurt or harmed?

  • Contact Adult Social Care or the Police.
  • Ask someone you trust to tell them for you
  • If in hospital, a member of staff can inform them for you

Hospital Staff, Adult Social Care and the Police will:

  • Listen to what you have to say
  • Treat you with dignity and respect
  • Do something to make it stop. For further information and contact details click on the link to the area you live, either Plymouth, Devon or Cornwall

For further information and contact details click on the link to the area you live, either Plymouth, Devon or Cornwall.

The Plymouth City Council logo    The Cornwall Council logo    The Devon Safeguarding Adults Board logo

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