Safeguarding adults

Safeguarding means making sure you are safe from abuse and neglect. Abuse is when someone hurts you or treats you badly. Abuse is always wrong.
Close up of somebodies blue eye, showing a bruise to signify abuse.

This information is to help you understand what to do if you are feeling unsafe or you have been harmed in any way. It may happen just once or can be something that has been going on for some time. There are many different forms of abuse that could be a safeguard matter.

Forms of abuse

  • Physical abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Neglect
  • Emotional or psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Hate crime

Try to talk to someone as you can so that they can look into it straight away with you. This can be difficult but if you tell someone that you or your friend is feeling unsafe support is available.

Physical abuse

This is when someone hurts you, this could be pushing, shaking, pinching, biting or slapping.

Financial abuse

This is when someone takes or controls your money or things that belong to you. This can be stealing cash and not allowing you to take part in financial decisions.


This is when people that help you do not look after you properly. This could be not giving you enough food or not keeping you warm and safe, not giving you your medication or not taking you to the Doctor if you are ill.

Emotional or psychological abuse

This is when somebody talks to you in a nasty way. Teasing, swearing, shouting, putting you down and talking to you like a child.

Sexual abuse

This is when someone touches your body or your private parts in ways you do not like or want. This includes kissing you, making you touch them or having sex with you when you do not want them to.

Discriminatory abuse

This is when people treat you badly because of the colour of your skin, your religion, your disability, or because you are lesbian or gay.

Domestic violence

This is when one person hurts or bullies another person. Domestic abuse is when this abuse happens between any couple who are going out with each other, living together, married or by anyone else in the household who lives with you.

Hate crime

This is when someone hurts you or makes fun of you because of your disability, culture, sexuality or religion.

What should you do if you feel you are being abused?

If you are at immediate risk of harm call 999, or if you are at risk of harm but it is not an emergency call 101. Alternatively contact: