Safeguarding adult policy


For the purpose of this policy the following definitions have been adopted:

3.1. Who is an adult at risk?

An adult at risk of abuse and neglect is any person aged 18 years or over who: - has perceived needs for care and support; - is experiencing or is at risk of abuse and neglect; - as a result of a person’s needs they are unable to protect him/herself against abuse or neglect, or the risk of it.

3.2. What is abuse?

The Department of Health defines abuse as “a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by another person or persons”. This can be recurrent and frequent or can be a single incident.

3.3. Categories of abuse

There is no exhaustive list of what constitutes abuse. The most commonly occurring types of abuse includes:

  • Physical abuse – including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate sanctions on the person.
  • Domestic abuse – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.
  • Honour-based abuse - a crime or incident which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community.
  • Female genital mutilation - a range of procedures which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.
  • Forced marriage - a marriage conducted without the valid consent of one or both parties and where duress is a contributing factor.
  • Sexual abuse - including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult at risk has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo, sexual photography, subjection to pornography, witnessing sexual acts or subjected to indecent exposure.
  • Psychological/emotional abuse - including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber abuse, isolation or unreasonable and unjustifiable withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
  • Financial or material abuse - including theft, fraud, internet scamming, coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
  • Modern slavery – encompasses slavery including human trafficking, forced labour, debt bondage, sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation and domestic servitude.
  • Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, personal slurs or similar treatment because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
  • Organisational abuse - including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home.
  • Neglect and acts of omission - including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition, clothing and heating.
  • Self-neglect – a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
  • Radicalisation – the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.
  • Hate crime – a crime (or threat of harm) directed towards an individual on the basis of their protected characteristics including race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Abuse and neglect take many different forms and may be identified as potential criminal activity. In any case abuse and neglect will not be tolerated and any suspected criminal activity will be reported appropriately.