What is adult abuse

Adult abuse is when a person is treated in a bad way or in a way that harms, hurts, exploits them or makes them feel frightened or unhappy. Anyone can be vulnerable to abuse at any time in their lives. Men and women, rich and poor, from any ethnic background can be at risk.

Abuse is not always deliberate. It sometimes happens when people are trying to do their best but feel stressed. Or they don't know what to do because of a lack of knowledge, training or understanding.

Abuse can take many forms; physical, sexual, domestic violence, psychological, financial, neglect, discriminatory, organisational abuse, hate crime, slavery.

Who can commit abuse

Anyone can abuse someone. This could be someone that a person knows or a stranger. It can be one person or a group of people.

Where does abuse happen

Abuse can happen anywhere, in someone's own home, at work, at a day centre, at college, in hospital, in residential care or nursing homes, at a club or social event. No matter where you are, you shouldn't suffer abuse. If you or someone you know is being abused, there are people you can talk to about it. Contact us on the details below.

If you are worried about someone

You may be concerned that a person is not getting the help or care they need, is being hurt, bullied, frightened or intimidated, being taken advantage or, or exploited because of their age, disability or illness, being made to do something against their will or not being treated in a dignified or respectful manner.

How to report concerns

If you are worried about yourself or someone else, please do not ignore it. Listen carefully and make a note. Then phone us on:

  • 0300 123 5010 
    (8:30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8:30 am to 4:30pm Friday)
  • 0300 123 5022
    (at all other times including bank holidays)

If you are in doubt about whether it is abuse or not - please call.

If you are at immediate risk of harm contact the emergency services by ringing 999, or if it is not an emergency, call 101.

If you have a hearing or speech impairment you can use the national telephone relay service, just dial 18001 before the number or 18000 in an emergency.

If you feel unable to give information about yourself you can report abuse anonymously. All calls will be treated with respect and in confidence.

You can also use the forms on our Safeguarding Adults at risk page to explain any concerns you have.

What you may be asked about

We will ask you for some information about:

  • Self neglect
  • yourself (unless you wish to remain anonymous)
  • the person you are concerned about
  • the alleged abuser
  • what you have seen or heard

We will let you know who needs to be told.

What happens if you report concerns

  • we will ask you what you would like to happen next
  • we will respond to the matter as a high priority
  • we may share the information with relevant agencies

Together all the relevant agencies will work with the person who may be being abused, to establish what has happened, and what action the person wants taking next. Work will also be done with the alleged abuser, and multi-disciplinary options will be created which will prevent, reduce or stop further abuse from happening.

Imagine if it was your mother or father, sister, brother, son or daughter. You would want someone to speak out if they thought they were being abused. You may be being abused yourself and need support.

Break the silence - contact Adult Social Care, or the Police. You will be believed and given advice about what to do.

Further information

Further information on the following can be found on the Cheshire East Safeguarding Adults Board website:

  • what is abuse or mistreatment
  • who does it
  • where it can happen
  • what we mean by an 'adult at risk'
  • policies and procedures for the Adults Safeguarding Board

The following also provide useful information:

Page last reviewed: 05 June 2024

Clearing your browser history

If you want to stay safe and clear your browsing history,  follow the advice on Stop adult abuse (opens new window)

Like us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter

Stop adult abuse

Find a service