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Is someone treating you badly?

This leaflet will tell you what to do about it.

What is abuse?
Abuse is where someone in a position of trust hurts, harms or causes you distress. Abuse is unacceptable; everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect. No-one has the right to abuse you. Everyone has a right to live free of abuse or mistreatment, whether you live in your own home, or a care/nursing care home, if you are in hospital or accessing day services. Abuse is not your fault and it is always wrong. No one has to put up with abuse. Help is available.

Abuse happens in lots of different ways There are different types of abuse:

Physical abuse
Physical abuse is when someone physically hurts or harms you. It can be non-accidental use of force that results bodily injury, pain, or impairment. It is when someone hits, kicks, shakes or burns you. Or when someone gives you too much medication so you find things difficult to do. Or it can be if someone restricts your movements or physically restrains you e.g. locking you in a room.

Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse is any sexual act you do not consent to, for example sexual assault or rape. This could include being touched inappropriately when you are being helped to dress or bathe, or while you are being cared for in other ways. It can be unwanted kissing or when someone touches you in ways you do not like or want, or if someone makes you touch them in ways which you dont like or want to do. Sexual abuse does not need to be physical it can include people making sexual remarks or jokes in your presence that make you feel uncomfortable. It can also be when someone makes you do sexual things that you dont want to do or frightens you. It can also be making you look at or watch pictures or films of a sexual nature against your will.

Emotional/psychological abuse
Emotional/psychological abuse is when people:

Shout at you Humiliate you Blame you for things when its not your fault Ignore you

Threaten you Laugh at you Intimidate you Treat you like a child

Financial abuse
Financial abuse is when people take your money or belongings without asking. It is theft or fraud. Theft could mean people you trust using your money or possessions in ways you are not happy with. Or when someone offers to pay your bills on your behalf but actually keeps the money for themselves, or lies to you about what theyve actually spent. It could also be someone helping themselves to your groceries without asking and with no intention of replacing them. It is also when someone puts pressure on you to change your will or transfer property or inheritance to them. People may befriend you or use your sympathy for their own gain.

Neglect
Neglect is when people who are supposed to help dont look after you properly. They may leave you without sufficient food, heating or money. As a result you are cold or hungry for much of the time or you dont have clean or suitable clothes. Or they may ignore your healthcare needs or your physical care needs e.g. they may not help you to go to the toilet when you want. Neglect is when someone does not do something that impacts on your safety and wellbeing. It is when you suffer harm or distress because of someones lack of help.

Neglect is when someone leaves you or puts you in danger.

Discriminatory abuse
Discriminatory abuse is when people treat you badly because of the colour of your skin, your religion, your disability, or because you are lesbian or gay. People may say things to you or treat you unfairly because you are different. Discriminatory abuse is being treated maliciously because you: Have different colour skin Have a different religion Are disabled Are lesbian or gay Speak a different language Are old

Institutional abuse
Institutional abuse is when you are in hospital or live in a home and the way the hospital or home is run means you are at risk of harm or distress. Institutional abuse can be when: There is not enough staff on duty most of the time. Most of the staff are not trained. The rules and routines are made by the manager and staff. Your personal things are used for someone else.

Who abuses?
Most people will not abuse you BUT anyone could abuse. It might be someone you know or a stranger. It can be anyone who uses their power over you. Anyone may be an abuser, but the following are most likely to be in a position to mistreat you: A partner, spouse, child or relative A friend or neighbour A health or social care worker Staff in a residential or nursing home or hospital A volunteer worker Someone else you live with another service user A stranger

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Where does abuse happen?


Adult abuse can happen anywhere and at anytime, but the most common places are: In your own home, including by those who you are living with, or perhaps by relatives or people who visit you in your home. In hospital or In a residential or nursing care home, where you may live permanently or for short periods. You could be abused by the people who work there or visit or people who are also living or using the services. At a day centre or social club. You could be abused by the people who work there or visit or people who are also using the centre or club.

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Recognising abuse
People who are experiencing abuse can be very good at covering up and providing convincing explanations about what is happening. For example, a person with a badly bruised arm may say they walked into a door when really someone has hit them. It may take a person a long time to decide that they want the situation to change or stop. Look out for the following signs: Changes in behaviour becoming withdrawn, weepy, angry or depressed. Changes in appearances wearing the same clothes, not washing hair or putting on make-up. Changes in lifestyle, routine or circumstances no longer going out, not welcoming visitors or saying they cannot afford things they could previously. Injuries which occur regularly black eyes, bruises or cuts. Unusual difficulty with finances unpaid bills or debts building up.

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An over-emphasis on everything being normal and that nothing is wrong. Seeking attention from numerous people this may be that the person feels safer when people are around. Appearing frightened when certain people come into the room or approach them. Seeming to be off their food and losing weight. If you are worried that someone is showing any of these signs, you may want to talk to them to see if you can help. They should never be ignored. It may be that there is some other reason such as an illness or depression but it may also indicate that abuse, mistreatment or neglect is taking place.

Share your concerns.

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What should you do?


Often people dont want to admit that they are being mistreated and abused. It might be painful to talk about, or you might fear retribution by the abuser. Abuse can be stopped and even prevented, but this can really only happen if someone knows about it. If you are in fear of someone or you have been harmed or mistreated by someone tell someone you trust, and do it as soon as you can. You can talk to the following people for advice: Your doctor The Police Your social worker A nurse Someone from a voluntary organisation such as Age UK

The manager of the home in which you live or the care service providing help and support.

Talking to someone can help.

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What happens next?


If you or someone you have told tells the police or your social worker they will: Listen Take you concerns seriously Make sure you are safe Investigate your concerns Give you help and support.

ABUSING OR NEGLECTING ADULTS IS A CRIME. PEOPLE CAN, AND DO, GO TO PRISON IF THEY ARE FOUND GUILTY OF IT.

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Useful Phone Numbers


Solihull Connect 0121 704 8007 Outside normal office hours Emergency Duty Team 0121 605 6060 Police 0845 113 5000 or 999 Elder Abuse Helpline 0808 808 8141 CQC 0845 015 0120

Contact details
If you require any further copies of this publication, please contact the Solihull Safeguarding Adults team:Safeguarding Adults Solihull Council 10 West Mall Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre Chelmsley Wood Solihull B37 5TN Tel: 0121 788 4387 Fax: 0121 788 4414 Email: safeguardingadults@solihull.gov.uk