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Care & Support Bradford

Safeguarding adults at risk
of abuse

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

If you suspect someone you know is at risk of being abused or neglected, don’t ignore it, get in contact with professionals who can help break the cycle.

The person causing the abuse can be known to the person abused. They can often be in a position of trust.  For example: spouses/partners; other family members; neighbours; friends; acquaintances; paid staff or professionals and volunteers; local residents; people who deliberately exploit adults they perceive as vulnerable to abuse; or strangers.

Abuse could be a one-off incident or happen repeatedly over a period of time.

You are more at risk if:

  • You are isolated and have little contact with friends/family/neighbours.
  • You are dependent on someone as a carer and there are issues with them.
  • Your carer relies on you for a home/financial and emotional support.


I think I am being abused - what can I do?

Tell someone you trust as soon as possible.  Help and support is available.

Speak to friends or careworkers, who may have an understanding of the situation and be able to take steps quickly to improve your situation.

You can also talk to trusted professionals such as your local GP or social worker, or contact Bradford Council’s Safeguarding Adults Team on 01274 431077.

You can report abuse online at

Advocacy services can help support you.

Advocacy services will listen to you and help you to:

  • Say what you want.
  • Make sure your rights are met.
  • Get the services you need.

Information on Advocacy Services available in Bradford can be found at

What is abuse?

Abuse is treating someone in a way that harms, hurts or exploits them. Abuse can take many forms. It can range from treating someone disrespectfully in a way that significantly undermines their worth and affects their quality of life, to causing physical pain and suffering. It includes harm, exploitation and neglect and is not always easy to identify. Below is a list of several types of abuse.

  •  Neglect – where someone allows you to suffer by failing to care for you by ignoring your needs, such as food, drink, medication, heating and personal care. Neglect can be intentional or non-intentional.
  • Self-neglect – not looking after yourself, for example, by not taking care of your personal hygiene, health or surroundings. It can include hoarding – the collecting of a large number of items with little value to others that make it difficult to live in your home and increase the risk of fire. If a person lacks mental capacity in relation to their own care and support needs, decisions can be made in their best interests under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
  • Financial or material – fraud, theft, exerting pressure on individuals to pay for items, not allowing you access to or control of your money or property, or using it without your permission. This also includes internet and telephone scamming, pressure over property or inheritance, benefits and misusing powers of attorney.
  • Discriminatory – suffering harassment, bullying, insulting language or ill-treatment because of your age, disability, ethnic origin, religion, culture, sexuality or gender. It can include any act of violence or hostility directed at you because of who you are or who someone thinks you are.
  • Organisational – repeated poor care of one or a number of adults through neglect or poor professional practice in a paid or regulated care setting (such as a nursing home, or hospital, or an organisation paid to support you in your own home). This may range from a one-off incident to on-going ill-treatment. Abuse can be a result of individuals not following structure, policies, processes o practices within an organisation.
  • Physical – hitting, pushing, shaking, spitting, pinching, scalding, pulling hair, misusing medication, illegal restraint, or physical harm.
  • Domestic abuse – controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour or violence between people who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members. It can include psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse and forced marriage.
  • Sexual – any sexual activity where you cannot or do not consent or which you have been coerced into, including rape, sexual assault or being forced to look at explicit material.
  • Psychological – such as shouting, swearing or ignoring you, name calling, bullying, humiliation, threats, intimidation, controlling, threatening and coercion. It can also include cyber-bullying or taking away your privacy and dignity.

Who is an adult at risk?

Aged 18 years or over:

  • Has needs for care and support.
  • Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect.
  • As a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.

An adult at risk may therefore be a person who, for example:

  • Is an older person who is frail due to ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment.
  • Has a learning disability.
  • Has a physical disability and/or a sensory impairment.
  • Has mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder.
  • Lacks mental capacity to make particular decisions.
  • Has a long-term illness/condition.
  • Misuses substances or alcohol.

Unpaid carers such as partners, relatives or friends can also get help if they are being abused.


For emergencies: 999.

For advice or non-emergencies dial: 101.

Textphone: 18001 101.

Bradford Council

If you think an adult is at risk of abuse or you are worried that someone might be being  abused raise your concern at:

If you are unable to complete the online form, contact the Adult Protection Unit on

01274 431077.

Monday to Thursday: 8.30am to 4.30pm

Friday: 8.30am to 4pm.

Out of Hours Emergency Duty Team

Tel: 01274 431010 (outside office hours).

Reporting abuse

Care & Support Bradford logo

Address: Office 3.7, Holmfield Mills, Holdsworth Road, Holmfield, Halifax, HX3 6SN

Email:          Tel: 01422 357792

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