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Stopping adult abuse – it’s everyone’s responsibility

User AvatarPosted by Hayley Smith at 30/09/2016 12:53:43

Adult abuse is everyone’s business and this Safeguarding Adults Awareness Week (3-7 October), residents of Kent and Medway are urged to “See It, Report It, Stop It”.

The best weapon against abuse is talking about it and anyone with concerns about a loved one, colleague, friend, neighbour or themselves needs to tell us about it.

Agencies across Kent and Medway, including: Kent County Council, Medway Council, NHS and Health organisations, district councils, emergency services, care providers, housing associations and the voluntary sector, are raising awareness this week about different forms of abuse and how to recognise and stop it.

Independent Chair of the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board, Deborah Stuart- Angus, said: “Abuse and neglect can happen to anyone, from any background and we want victims to know they are not alone. We will not tolerate abuse in Kent and Medway and agencies across the county continue to work very closely to aim to keep the most vulnerable members of our society safe.

“We know that abuse can be hard to talk about and in many circumstances, we can only help to stop it, if a concern is brought to our attention. That’s why we need our communities, staff and partners across Kent and Medway, to be our eyes and ears. My rule of thumb has always been: 'If you are in doubt check it out' - if you have a concern, please report it. We will not overreact. We will take a balanced view, sometimes simply giving advice or when necessary, making relevant enquiries. We will keep the person at the centre of what we do, enabling them to stay in control and keeping safeguarding personal.” 

Last year, more than 4,000 people did speak up across Kent and Medway and reported their concerns. 

Wendy Bennett, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Adults at NHS Ashford and NHS Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “Making sure people are supported to live full and happy lives is an important part of safeguarding, together with ensuring they have access to appropriate healthcare.

“Safeguarding is not just a legal duty – it is about doing the right thing.  It is important that everyone plays their part in safeguarding and that people don’t assume that it’s somebody else’s responsibility.

“Abuse isn’t just physical, and can be psychological, sexual, financial, consumer scams, neglect, modern slavery, self-neglect, hate crimes, discriminatory abuse, or even a combination of several.

“If anyone has any concerns for a person’s wellbeing then it is really important that they report it.” 

Abuse comes in many forms and may include physical, psychological, financial or material, such as consumer scams, sexual abuse, neglect, modern slavery, self-neglect, hate crimes and discrimination, and domestic violence.

Kent and Medway’s multi-agency Safeguarding Adults Board brings together agencies across the County to keep adults safe from harm and protect their rights. During Safeguarding Adults Awareness Week, events are being held to raise awareness of the different types of abuse that some people of Kent and Medway suffer daily and how they, or their loved ones, can seek the help and advice they need to keep them safe and well.

To report abuse, contact Kent County Council on 03000 41 61 61 or Medway Council on 01634 334466 or if someone is in immediate risk, dial 999. Support will be provided by specially trained people to victims of abuse and those who report it.  

  • For information on the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board, visit Kent.gov.uk
  • To report concerns, call 03000 41 61 61 in Kent and 01634 33 44 66 in Medway
  • Out of normal office hours for Kent and Medway, call 03000 41 91 91
  • For more information in Kent, visit kent.gov.uk/adultprotection.  For more information in Medway, visit medway.gov.uk/abuse.
  • To report a rogue trader or a scam, contact Citizen Advice consumer service (CACS) helpline 03454 04 05 06 who will then contact your local Trading Standards.
  • The aim of the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board is to safeguard adults at risk of harm or abuse in the Care Act in Kent and Medway through a multi-agency approach ensuring their safety, independence and wellbeing.  The partners involved in this work include KCC, Medway Council, NHS and Health agencies, Kent Police and Kent Fire & Rescue Service.
  • If anyone knows or suspects a crime, contact the police on 101, or if a crime is taking place, call 999.