What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the action we can take to stop abuse and neglect from happening.

You can help prevent abuse or neglect by reporting any concerns as early as possible. Find out how to report a safeguarding concern.

Types of abuse and neglect

Abuse can be:

  • physical – being hit, slapped, kicked, pinched or any action which results in pain or injury
  • psychological or emotional abuse – being shouted at, ridiculed, bullied, threatened or intimidated
  • neglect – ignoring someone's medical, physical or emotional needs, such as withholding food or drink or not providing adequate care
  • financial – when someone misuses or steals money or property
  • sexual – direct or indirect involvement in sexual activity without consent
  • organisational – such as neglect and poor professional practice  in a hospital, care home or in a person’s own home
  • discriminatory – hate crime or any form of harassment because of race, gender, sexuality, age, disability, or religion
  • modern slavery – includes sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and forced labour, drugs trade, benefit fraud, slavery and forced marriage
  • domestic abuse – one or more incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. It's often by a partner, ex-partner or family member.
  • self-neglect – when someone is unable or unwilling to care for themselves. It can include neglect of personal hygiene, health and living conditions.

Our responsibilities

If you report a safeguarding concern to us, we will:

  • listen to the person at risk to find out what they want to happen
  • support the person to have an advocate (someone to represent them)
    if they need one
  • respond professionally and sensitively and take your concerns seriously
  • talk to the police if a crime may have been committed
  • talk to other agencies that need to be involved
  • agree the best way of helping, including other types of support

There is more detailed information about our responsibilities on the Sussex Safeguarding Adults website.