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Report abuse of an adult (Safeguarding)

If you know someone is being abused, or think they may be, call:

What is abuse?

Abuse takes many forms. It includes:

  • any form of harm such as:
    • hitting, injuring or restraining
    • threatening, intimidating or humiliating
    • sexual attention or activity that is not wanted
    • keeping someone on their own
  • any form of neglect such as:
    • not giving the correct medicine
    • not providing food or clothing
    • not arranging the right care
  • financial abuse such as:
    • stealing or misusing money or property
    • pressure about wills or inheritance
    • scams and doorstep crime
  • discrimination such as treating someone less favourably because of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, disability or sexual orientation

Abuse can happen anywhere - at home, in a care home, hospital or day centre or in public.

Who is at risk?

People may be at risk of abuse if they:

  • depend on other people for their care
  • are older, frail and unable to protect themselves
  • have mental health problems
  • have a physical or learning┬ádisability
  • have serious sight or hearing impairment
  • have dementia
  • misuse alcohol or drugs
  • have a long-term illness

Domestic violence and abuse

The cross-government definition of domestic abuse is:

any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can include but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is:

a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is:

an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

Finding out about a partner's history of domestic abuse

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) is commonly known as Clare's Law and named after Clare Wood who was murdered by her boyfriend in 2009.

The scheme allows information about an individual's history of domestic abuse to be disclosed to a new partner. This is to help them make an informed decision about the relationship. It also signposts potential victims to specialist domestic abuse services.

The scheme is for anyone in an intimate relationship regardless of gender.

Who can ask for information?

Anybody can make an enquiry, but information will only be given to someone at risk, or a person in a position to safeguard the victim.

Partner agencies can also request that information is given about an offender's past history if they believe that someone is at risk of harm.

How to request information

If you want to make an application for information under the DVDS, call Dorset Police on 101.

More information and an application form can be found on the Dorset Police website.

Reporting Abuse

If you know someone is being abused, please contact us

If you think someone may be at immediate risk of harm contact the police by calling 999.

You can also tell a health or social care worker such as a social worker, nurse, doctor or occupational therapist.

What happens when you report abuse

If you report abuse to us we:

  • take your concerns seriously
  • deal with the matter sensitively
  • make sure the person is safe
  • investigate the situation fully

We ask you to provide a name and contact details in case we need to get in touch to ensure we have all the information we need to keep the person safe.

Further information

Help for those who have experienced domestic abuse

Advice on housing options for those that have experienced domestic abuse