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National Safeguarding Adults Week

by Cathy Sheel

This week (15-21 November 2021) is National Safeguarding Adults Week which aims to raise awareness of adult abuse and the role we can all play in helping to prevent it.

There are many different types of abuse including domestic, physical and financial abuse, modern slavery and exploitation, psychological and emotional abuse, neglect, self-neglect, radicalisation, sexual abuse, ‘honour-based’ violence, discrimination and hate crime.

Cllr Louise Harbour, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “We should all be aware that safeguarding is everyone’s business and there are many ways adults can experience abuse or neglect. So, If you suspect that an adult is being abused or neglected, please don’t ignore it, speak out and seek help. You may be the only person who can stop it.”

For more information and to report an adult at risk visit  Safeguarding Adults and Quality Improvement | Knowsley Council

What’s happening this week?

This year the focus of the week is ‘Safer Cultures’ which is about how organisations and individuals can take steps to minimise harm by ensuring the correct policies and procedures are in place. That way, if any safeguarding concerns are raised, they can be responded to swiftly and effectively.

During the week, Knowsley Council’s Safeguarding Adults Board are hosting a number of online sessions for staff and partners to raise the profile of adult abuse. The topics highlighted will include financial abuse, domestic violence, safeguarding and safe recruitment and self-neglect.

The board will also be highlighting a number of key priorities during the week. These include:

Financial abuse and scams: The coronavirus pandemic has seen a rise in scams, with fraudsters taking advantage of the uncertainty and financial fallout. It is vital people have the knowledge and tools they need to protect themselves against increasingly complex and sophisticated scams.

If you suspect you may be the victim of a scam tell someone — a friend, a family member, a neighbour, your bank what has happened. Talking about it could help you realise it’s a scam.

For more information about recognising and dealing with scams visit Check if something might be a scam – Citizens Advice

Domestic Abuse: Domestic abuse is not always physical abuse. The Domestic Abuse Act, 2021 made coercive control a criminal offence. Coercive control is a pattern of behaviour that aims to threaten, humiliate, intimidate, punish or frighten their victim.

Spotting the Signs of Coercive Control: These include isolating the person from friends and family, making the person feel that nobody else cares, creating a dependence on the abuser, preventing or controlling basic needs, such as food and drink and monitoring time, whereabouts, and actions

Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (also known as Clare’s Law): Under the scheme an individual can ask police to check whether a new or existing partner has a violent or abusive past. To request information about the partner of someone you are worried about under Clare’s Law, visit: Request information under Clare’s Law: Make a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) application | Merseyside Police

For further information and how to get help Getting help for domestic violence and abuse – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Self-Neglect: Self-Neglect is when someone neglects their personal hygiene, neglects to care for their own health and/or care needs (this can include drug or alcohol misuse/dependency), neglects to care for their own surroundings and excessive hoarding.

Self-Neglect differs from other safeguarding concerns as there is no ‘perpetrator’ of abuse, however, abuse cannot be ruled out as a purpose for becoming self-neglectful. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is crucial in determining what action may or may not be taken in cases of Self-Neglect.

Organisational Abuse/Neglect: Organisational abuse (sometimes referred to as institutional abuse) is neglect and poor care practice within an institution or care setting such as a hospital or care home. This can range from a one-off incident to on-going ill-treatment, and can include poor facilities, the poor care of service users and insufficient record keeping.

If you would like to speak to someone for advice about the possible abuse or neglect of an adult at risk, or a child, please call the Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Hub (MASH) on 0151 443 2600. You can call this number between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Or you can report a concern about the possible abuse or neglect of an adult at risk, please complete the on-line referral form: Report a concern about an adult at risk