Safeguarding in Bath & North East Somerset

Safeguarding Adults / Protecting Vulnerable Adults from Abuse

Any abuse is wrong

  • Everybody has the right to live their life free from violence, fear and abuse
  • Everybody has the right to live in safety


You have these rights especially if you are disabled, ill or an older person.

Safeguarding Adults from Abuse and Neglect

This web page is about safeguarding vulnerable adults. A vulnerable adult is someone who may be in need of help because of a disability, illness or their age and is unable to take care of themselves or stop someone else from harming or exploiting them.

Abuse is when someone does or says something to you which harms you and makes you upset and scared. You may be afraid and do not know how to get the help you need. Abuse can be a single act or continue over months or even years. It can be accidental or deliberate. Just because there is no injury doesn't mean there is no abuse.

Who can be abused?

Anybody can be abused but it happens more often to people who:

  • Are older and frail
  • Have a physical disability
  • Have learning difficulties
  • Have sight or hearing loss
  • Have mental health problems
  • Have dementia
  • Depend on others to look after them


Abuse can take many forms

Physical abuse

When someone hurts you by

  • Hitting or slapping
  • Pushing
  • Kicking
  • Shaking
  • If you are given too much or not enough medication
  • Rough handling
  • Restraining you


Financial abuse

When someone

  • Takes your money or belongings
  • Makes you buy something that you do not want
  • Uses your money to pay for their things
  • Does not let you choose how to spend your money
  • Says that you have to give them your money, belongings or home


Emotional abuse

When someone

    Rapes or sexually assaults you
    Touches you where you do not want to be touched in a sexual way
    Makes you touch them in a sexual way
    Makes you see films or photographs of sexual things


Discriminatory abuse

When you are treated unfairly because of

  • Your race
  • Your religion or culture
  • Your disability
  • Your gender
  • Your sexual orientation
  • Your age


This is when you are not given the things you need, for example

  • Assistance to wash and dress and with toileting
  • Regular food and drinks
  • Medication as prescribed by the doctor
  • Seeing the doctor if you are ill
  • A warm environment
  • Clean clothes


Who abuses adults?

Anyone can abuse you; it could be someone you know or a stranger. It could be a relative, friend, neighbour, paid carer, or volunteer. Sometimes loving carers can abuse because they have become stressed and exhausted. Most people will not abuse but it does happen to some people.

Abuse can happen anywhere

  • In your own home
  • In a care home
  • In hospital
  • In public place


What should I do if I am worried about being abused?

Tell someone you trust as soon as you can. This could be:

  • Your family
  • Your friend
  • Your doctor
  • Your district nurse
  • Your carer
  • Your religious leader
  • Your care manager
  • The Police


You can contact Sirona Care and Health on 01225 396000 to report abuse. They will offer advice and assistance to help stop the abuse happening. Abuse is not your fault. No one has the right to abuse you. You may need help to make it stop.

Please do not ignore your concerns and let the abuse continue.

What happens next?

  • The person you tell will listen to you, and will give you help and support to report the abuse to a social worker or police officer.
  • They will help you to stay safe and help ensure the abuse stops.
  • Where necessary they will involve other professionals to investigate and protect you from further abuse.



Information will be treated as confidential. There may be occasions when some information needs to be shared when it is in the best interest of the abused person.

Helpful telephone numbers / websites

Sirona Care and Health 01225 396000

Emergency Duty team: 01454 615165

Police Safeguarding and Coordination Unit: 01225 842700

(for an emergency ring 999)

Butterfly: 01225 835888

Butterfly: (out of hours): 01225 835888

Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 0808 808 8141

Useful numbers for child protection / Domestic Violence

Child Care Duty Desk: 01225 396313

Southside Family Project: 01225 331243

Victim Support: 0845 456 6099