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Protection from abuse

As we get older, we should be able to live safely. Sometimes though you may feel at risk, or be concerned about another person. If this happens there are people you can speak to and there is help available. 

Domestic abuse has no age limit

We’re calling on the Government to make sure the voices of older people are heard, their rights are protected, and their needs included in future legislation addressing domestic abuse.


What is Safeguarding?

Adults with care and support needs, (for example, a disability, health condition, mental illness or learning disability) can be at increased risk of abuse and neglect, and less able to protect themselves from harm.

Safeguarding is the protection of the rights of those at risk. The Care Act 2014 sets out clear duties for local councils to protect these rights by preventing or stopping abuse and neglect of adults with care and support needs.


What is abuse and neglect?

Every adult should be able to live safely, free from abuse and neglect. Most adults are able to do this, but research indicates that almost half a million people aged over 65 will experience some form of abuse or neglect.

Incidents of abuse and neglect may be one-off or multiple, and affect one person or more. Adults may also be affected by more than one type of abuse at the same time.

Click on the titles below to find out more about each form of abuse and neglect. 


What can I do if I feel unsafe or if I’m worried about someone else?

The best way to protect yourself or a loved one and stop abuse from happening is to tell someone about it. This may feel difficult, especially if the person abusing you is a close friend or relative, but abuse and neglect is never acceptable. You don’t have to put up with it, and there is help available for you to put a stop to it.

If a paid or family carer is involved, you may also be worried that telling someone will mean that you lose the care and support that you need. Please be assured that your care and support needs will continue to be met as part of any safeguarding response. 

You can get support and advice from:

  • Adult Social Services at your local council
  • Your GP or other NHS health providers
  • Domestic Abuse helpline 0808 2000 247
  • Action on Elder Abuse helpline: 0808 808 8141
  • The Police - You can call the local police on the 101 non-emergency number or call 999 immediately in an emergency.

Call the Age UK Advice Line 0800 678 1174 if you are concerned about abuse


What will happen if I report abuse?

When you report abuse to Adult Social Care at your local council, they will listen to the information you give them and assess what action is required. They will ensure that you feel in control of what happens.

You can ask for someone that you trust to support you, or you can ask for an advocate. If you (or the person you are concerned about) has difficulties, or does not have the mental capacity to engage with the process, the local authority will arrange for an advocate to provide support.

If you’re at risk of further abuse, the Adult Social Services team will work with you to plan how you stay safe. You must be fully involved at every stage of this process.

For more information call the Age UK Advice Line on 0800 678 1602.
We’re open 8am to 7pm, every day of the year.

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Last updated: Nov 08 2019

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