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What will happen if I report abuse?

Any behaviour that makes you feel uncomfortable or threatened is unacceptable and you have the right to take action to stop it.

The best way to protect yourself and stop abuse from happening is to report it. This may feel difficult, especially if the person abusing you is a close friend or relative, but bear in mind that they have broken your trust and are in the wrong.

Some people worry that telling someone means they will lose their right to care and support, but this is not the case. Others worry that they will lose the person they rely on for care, but it is important to know you have the option to put things right.

Share your concerns by telling someone you trust, such as:

  • a friend or relative
  • your GP, care worker, or social worker
  • the Adult Social Services team at your local council.

Contact Age UK on 0800 169 65 65 for advice about reporting abuse or call the Action on Elder Abuse confidential helpline on 0808 808 8141. You can call the local police on the 101 non-emergency number. If you have been physically harmed and need instant attention, call 999 immediately.

What will happen if I report abuse?

When you report abuse to Adult Social Services, the relevant person will listen to the information you give them and assess whether you’re at risk. Before any investigation goes ahead, you should be asked what you want them to do, and they must respond appropriately.

If you’re at risk of further abuse, the Adult Social Services team will draw up a plan explaining what action they intend to keep you safe. You should be fully involved at every stage of this process.

If you report a case of abuse, you can ask for a relative or support worker to come to meetings with you. You also have the right to ask for an advocate. An advocate is someone who can help you to understand the process, give you support, make informed choices and if necessary speak on your behalf.

For more information about advocacy or to find an advocate, contact the Older People’s Advocacy Alliance.

See our free factsheet Safeguarding older people from abuse for more information about the different types of abuse, the support available and the process when you report it. 

Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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