Stop Adult Abuse Week is a local initiative that started in 2014 when five Safeguarding Adults Boards in the South West decided to join together to run a week raising awareness about safeguarding people from abuse and neglect.
We want everyone to be aware of the role they can play in helping to prevent adult abuse. We want everyone to know how to spot the signs and how to get help if needed. For this year’s Stop Adult Abuse Week (15 – 19 June) we are working together with the aim of raising awareness of adult safeguarding during Covid 19.
Abuse exists in many different forms, such as financial abuse, physical abuse, and neglect. These types of abuse can happen to anyone, however those at greater risk include those whose care and support needs affect their ability to protect themselves, such as the elderly, people living with learning disabilities, mental ill-health or severe illness.
During the Covid 19 outbreak and restrictions imposed on social distancing there has been an increase in abuse of vulnerable people in their homes, through cuckooing. This can involve strangers, taking over a vulnerable persons home, using it has a base for illegal activity such as drug dealing. It can also include friends and family members moving in, using the vulnerable person’s food and money for their own purposes, leaving the vulnerable person in debt and without enough food. There has also been an increase in domestic abuse and in financial scams during Covid 19.
In Stop Adult Abuse Week we aim to create a time where we can all focus on safeguarding adults, with each day focusing on a different safeguarding adult at risk issue. This year’s week long campaign across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire will include the following.
What to do if you have a concern about someone you support or someone in your local community. Also how the local authority, health services, police and other partners work together to make sure that people are central to the process and stay in control and we all work together to achieve the desired outcome.
Find out more about Safeguarding Adults on our website
As more people stay at home to protect themselves from the pandemic flu virus, and people spend more time working and shopping online, there has been a rise of online scams. Unscrupulous individuals are also coming to peoples’ doors asking for donations to the NHS and for Keyworkers asking for both cash and bank details; as these fall outside the government guidance it is normally fraudsters.
Avon and Somerset Police Film 'Top tips on how to stay safe from fraud online'
Since lockdown began in March, there have been increased calls and requests for online support to statutory and voluntary services due to the increased stress from forced coexistence, economic stress and fears about the virus. In some cases though, we are aware that individuals are unable to call because their situation is complex and we all need to be vigilant and recognise when someone may not be able to access the help they require and the action to take in those situations.
Resources and Support Services for people experiencing domestic abuse can be found on our website.
Where people move into a house having befriended an individual and then take advantage of the situation and take control of the home; this could be to store and sell drugs or for other exploitation.
It is really important that everyone continues to receive help and support as and when they need it. There is a concern that in some case people are neglecting their own wellbeing as they do not want to overburden services or for fear of catching Covid 19. The role of staff and the community at this time is to support people to find safe ways to have their needs met and if they are unsure then to contact the normal routes and ask advice or contact local support groups.
Further information about Self Neglect can be found on our website.
Join in the conversation on Twitter by using #stopadultabuseweek