Abuse victims urged to seek help during awareness week

Victims of abuse are being urged to seek help Picture: PA WIRE

Victims of abuse are being urged to seek help Picture: PA WIRE - Credit: Archant

Abuse victims in Suffolk are being urged to seek help as part of a national awareness campaign.

Suffolk constabulary has issued the appeal as part of Safeguarding Adults Awareness Week, which began on Monday, and aims to highlight how to recognise different forms of abuse and what to do if you think someone is at risk.

At risk adults can include people with disabilities, older people or those with mental health issues.

People with long-tern health conditions, or problems with drugs or alcohol can also be at-risk.

Det Chief Insp Barry Byford said: “The abuse that vulnerable adults suffer is often hidden from view. We work closely together with partners and external organisations to identify and support those who may be victims.

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“When incidents or concerns are reported to us we will always endeavour to conduct a thorough investigation and where possible, bring those who abuse and mistreat vulnerable people to justice.”

Beccy Hopfensperger, cabinet member for adult care at Suffolk County Council, added: “One of the best ways to protect adults at risk of abuse is by raising awareness.

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“Be it financial, physical, emotional or any other form of abuse, people can get advice and support if they are being abused themselves or if they recognise abuse in other people. We know it can be difficult to report abuse, so Safeguarding Adults’ Awareness Week is a really good opportunity to make sure people know that they are not alone and they can do something to prevent or stop abuse.”

Different types of abuse include:

•Physical, emotional or sexual abuse

Financial abuse – when people take money or belongings without asking

Neglect – when people who are there to help do not look after people properly

Discriminatory abuse – when people treat others badly or unfairly because they are different

Institutional abuse – when paid staff in a hospital or care home do not care properly or respect people’s rights

Domestic abuse – threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are, or have been, in a relationship, or between family members

Self-neglect – when people don’t look after themselves and this puts them at risk

Modern slavery – when people are forced to work or are bought or sold as if they were a piece of property

Signs of abuse include:

Looking dirty or is not dressed properly

Having an injury that’s difficult to explain

Being frightened around certain people

Being unusually down or withdrawn

Finding money missing

People who are worried about an adult at risk or concerned about someone’s safety can contact Suffolk’s Adult Social Services on 0808 800 4005 or online at its website.

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