Suspected abuse or neglect of an adult at risk or vulnerable adult

We believe that every adult has the right to be treated with dignity, have their choices respected and live a life free from fear.

Disability, illness or frailty means that many adults over the age of 18 have to rely on other people to help them in their day-to-day living . Sadly, it is because they have to depend on others that  they become vulnerable and at risk, very often from people they know such as a relative, friend, neighbour or paid carer or of course people they do not know.

What is abuse?

Abuse can take many forms and all of them are distressing.

  • Physical, for example hitting, slapping , pushing or inappropriately physically restraining, or the mismanagement of medication
  • Psychological or emotional, for example shouting and swearing to make a person afraid
  • Sexual, for example unwanted touching, kissing or sexual intercourse
  • Financial, for example money or belongings taken under pressure or misused without consent
  • Neglect, for example not being properly cared for, mismanaging medication or being denied privacy, choice or social contact
  • Discriminatory, for example suffering abuse or neglect on the grounds of religion, culture, gender, sexuality or disability
  • Institutional, for example unsatisfactory professional practice, pervasive ill treatment or gross misconduct indicating an abusive climate  
  • Domestic Abuse: Examples are psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse or, so called, ‘honour-based violence' of someone with care and support needs;
  • Self–neglect: This can cover a wide range of behaviours such as neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings. it can also include behaviour such as hoarding
  • Modern Slavery: This encompasses such things as slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

How we can help

Abuse can take place anywhere: in a person's own home, in a residential or nursing home or a day centre or hospital. Unfortunately those being abused are often the least likely to bring the situation to anyone's attention.
If you see, or know of a worrying situation please do not ignore it. Get in touch with us and we will do something about it. This may mean acting directly on your information and/or contacting other services to put an end to an abusive or neglectful situation.
We will also provide information and offer practical advice to the person suffering abuse, so that they can make an informed choice about any help they might need, or any action they may wish to take. If they are unable to make an informed choice, care will be taken to support and protect them.

If the adult is in immediate danger or in need of medical attention, or if a crime has been committed, contact the Emergency Services - Police and/or Ambulance Service. Contact one of the following agencies depending on the circumstances:

  • Adult Safeguarding Team, Swindon Borough Council: Phone 01793 463555 or e-mail (during office hours only - Monday to Friday inclusive 8:30am to 5pm)
  • Safeguarding Adults Investigation Team, Wiltshire Police - Phone 01380 826350 (during office hours only - Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
  • Out of hours emergency duty service - Phone 01793 436699
  • Police out of hours - Phone 101

If you are unsure who to contact, the Adult Social Care team are the first point of contact for all referrals and general enquiries relating to adult social care and support.

To access a referral form or for further information on Safeguarding Adults at Risk, please click on one of the links below.