Hartlepool Borough Council

More about Adult Social Care

Protecting adults from abuse

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If you are worried about a vulnerable adult who is being harmed or an adult who cannot protect themselves from harm, the following information may help you to decide if you need to contact us.


» Vulnerable adults

Vulnerable adults are people in need of community care services because of a disability, age or illness and who are, or maybe, at risk of harm.


» What is abuse?

Abuse is a violation of an individuals human and civil rights by any other person or persons. Abuse is something that can be done by anyone and take place at any time.  It is something that is done to a person or it can be as a result of something not being done.  Abuse can take place in someone's house or in an institution such as a hospital, day centre or residential care home. 

There are many different types of abuse.  This could include:

  • Physical
    For example, hitting, kicking, burning, holding down or pushing around.
  • Sexual
    For example, touching someone in a way they do not like, forcing someone to have sex, forcing someone to look at sexual pictures or videos, or making someone do something sexual to someone that feels uncomfortable or wrong.
  • Financial
    For example, taking someone's money or things without asking, spending a person's money in a way they are unhappy with or pressurising someone to change their will.
  • Neglect
    For example, not taking good care of someone which could include refusing to help someone get food, keep warm and safe or seeing their doctor.
  • Psychological
    For example, continuously threatening to hurt someone or leave them, keeping someone away from other people, locking someone in or making someone feel unworthy
  • Discriminatory
    For example, treating someone badly or unfairly because of their age, disability, sexuality, gender, religion or the colour of their skin. 


» What to do

If you think that you or someone you know is being abused, contact our Early Intervention Team or contact one of the following:

For more information download the safeguarding adults in Teesside leaflet.                                                      


» More information 

For full details of our safeguarding procedures please download the Teeswide Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults policy.

For more information about abuse and what you can do about it, visit the Action on Elder Abuse website.

If you are a professional in adult social care or have a personal interest in safeguarding vulnerable adults see our professional library for more information.


Contact us

Telephone: 01429 266522

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