Safeguarding adults

Protecting people from abuse

Indicators of abuse

You may become concerned that someone is being abused in a number of ways:
  • the person may tell you
  • the person may say something that worries you
  • you may see something – an incident or an injury or other sign

What might cause concern?

You might see and/or hear something happen:

  • someone being bullied or intimidated
  • someone being made to feel frightened or unhappy
  • someone in a situation of unnecessary risk

The vulnerable adult might tell you or say something that worries you

Somebody might tell you something or say something that gives cause for concern, for example:

  • a colleague
  • family member
  • member of the public

There might be physical signs or unexplained or unusual injuries:

  • bruises
  • slap marks
  • black eyes
  • bleeding
  • burns or scalding
  • cigarette marks
  • torn, stained or bloodstained clothes

There may be other signs such as:

  • inappropriate dirty or soiled clothes
  • no food or drink available for the person
  • bills not being paid or services, e.g. telephone, cut off
  • shortage of money

The person might say things or behave in a way that causes you concerns:

  • the person may seem unhappy or distressed
  • the person may appear frightened, anxious or agitated without identifiable cause, or in relation to certain people
  • sleeping problems
  • constant visits to the toilet without a medical reason
  • other unexplained changes in how the person behaves

The behaviour of a colleague or other person:

  • dismissive or intolerant attitude
  • task/routine orientated rather than person focussed
  • not a team player; insists on doing tasks on their own or their way
    secretive about contact with clients
  • oversteps their professional boundaries with clients and colleagues/overfriendly
    neglects professional development

You may not know. It is enough that you are worried.