Guide to safeguarding

1. What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse or neglect.

Abuse or neglect can often be prevented if concerns are raised as early as possible.

Abuse can include:

  • physical – use of force, and any action which results in pain or injury
  • psychological – emotional abuse, threats of harm, intimidation or harassment
  • neglect – failure to provide access to appropriate care and support, or withholding care such as ignoring medical, physical or emotional needs
  • financial – unauthorised and improper use of funds such as stealing, defrauding or coercing money or property
  • sexual – direct or indirect involvement in sexual activity without consent
  • organisational – repeated instances of poor care from bad systems or practices
  • discriminatory – hate crime or any form of harassment because of race, gender, sexuality, age, disability, religion
  • modern slavery – human trafficking which can include forced labour, forced marriage, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, drugs trade, benefit fraud and organ harvesting
  • domestic violence – an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse by someone who is, or has been, an intimate partner or family member
  • self-neglect – a person who is unable to provide adequate care for themselves which has potentially serious consequences for their health and well-being

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