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New campaign to tackle abuse of vulnerable adults


People are being encouraged to look out for and report abuse of vulnerable adults to ensure no one in Hackney is left suffering in silence.

The Council has launched a safeguarding awareness campaign which aims to inform people about what abuse is, where to go for support and how to stop it happening.

It will see a series of posters promoting the need to look out for and report abuse, with the tagline – ABUSE: RECOGNISE IT, REPORT IT, STOP IT. A new advice leaflet has also been published.

There are many kinds of abuse. Some of the most common include:

  • Physical - hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, restraint or inappropriate punishments.
  • Sexual - rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, could not consent or was pressured into consenting.
  • Psychological - threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.
  • Financial or material - theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
  • Neglect - ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health care, social care, education services or misuse of medication, adequate nutrition or heating.
  • Discriminatory – hurtful behaviour based on a person's ethnicity, race, culture, sexual orientation, age or disability.

Anyone can be an abuser, eg a friend, relative, neighbour or carer, and it doesn’t just take place in homes or care homes. It can happen anywhere, such as in the street, at a bus stop, in a park or at a leisure centre.

Signs to look out for include:

  • Bruising, fingermarks or other injuries for which the person cannot give a good reason
  • Weight loss or deterioration of health for no apparent reason
  • Inappropriate or inadequate clothing
  • Withdrawal or mood changes
  • A carer who is unwilling to allow access to the person
  • An individual who is unwilling to be alone with a particular carer
  • Unexplained shortage of money
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council
Adult abuse can take many forms and happen anywhere at any time, but it’s always wrong.

“We know the vast majority of carers do a great job, often in difficult circumstances, but we also know there are vulnerable people out there currently suffering in silence. We want to help give them the confidence to come forward in the knowledge we will listen to them and do all we can to make them safe.

“There are also many people who witness abuse but either don’t realise it or are not sure what to do. The message here is simple – if in doubt, just let us know. It may be a false alarm, but you could be saving someone from a life of misery.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council

More information is available on the safeguarding adults section of our website, or, if you have any queries or want to raise a concern, contact the Safeguarding Adults Team on 020 8356 5782 or adultprotection@hackney.gov.uk.