Adult abuse and safeguarding

Find out about types of abuse, our responsibilities as a local authority and the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership.

You can report the abuse of an adult securely online. 

Types of abuse

There are many types of abusive behaviour, some of which are difficult to spot.

Abuse can include:

  • Domestic violence: abuse that takes place between family members or intimate partners regardless of gender or sexuality. It can consist of psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse and so-called 'honour' based violence
  • Sexual abuse: any sexual act that a person does not agree to
  • Psychological or emotional: this is when someone makes threats of harm, abandonment, humiliation, intimidation or verbal abuse
  • Financial: this includes stealing someone's money or denying them access to their money, property or possessions
  • Neglect or acts of omission: this can be both physical and emotional. It could be failing to keep an adult at risk clean or warm, not promoting optimum health, not providing adequate nutrition or medication. It could also mean preventing someone from making their own choices
  • Discriminatory: abusive remarks or actions relating to a person's age, race, religion, sex or abilities
  • Organisational abuse: this happens when the routines in use force residents or service users to sacrifice their own needs, wishes or preferred lifestyle to the needs of the institution or service provider
  • Modern slavery: such as human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude

Who is at risk of abuse?

Any vulnerable adult can be at risk of abuse or harm.

People can be abused in:

  • their own homes
  • care homes (with or without nursing)
  • day centres
  • workplaces
  • hospitals
  • police stations
  • public places

You can find further details, including indicators of abuse in the Suffolk Safeguarding Adults Framework & Multi-Agency Safeguarding Policy.  

Our responsibilities 

The Care Act 2014 section 42 requires local authorities to make enquiries, or to ask others to make enquiries, where they reasonably suspect that an adult in their area with care and support needs is at risk of abuse or neglect and is unable to protect himself/herself.  The purpose of the enquiry will be to establish what, if any, action is required. 

Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership

The Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership holds a statutory role in supporting, coordinating and overseeing the delivery and quality of multi-agency adult safeguarding activity in Suffolk.

The Partnership's adult's website suffolksp.org provides a wide range of information on their work. It also includes published reports, information and guidance. 

Safeguarding children

All the key child protection policies and guidance that agencies must follow to keep children safe in the county is available on the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership children's website

They explain what is expected of everybody when there is a concern about a child's safety, what they should do, who they should contact and how. 

The procedures apply to all children up to the age of 18 years, including unborn babies.