A major campaign has started in East Sussex to raise awareness and stop abuse of vulnerable adults.
‘Speak up, speak out!’ features posters at over 250 locations, including Citizens Advice, libraries, doctors’ surgeries, hospitals and community help-points.
High profile radio adverts are being broadcast across the county for two weeks so that people get the message that adult abuse needs to be reported.
This is supported by leaflets, car stickers, and displays on Stagecoach Rider buses and the Council’s transport vehicles.
There are also online case studies with detailed information to show the different forms of abuse which a vulnerable adult can suffer, such as:
• physical (hitting or rough handling);
• verbal (shouting or swearing);
• psychological (bullying or intimidating someone),
• neglect (not providing food or heating);
• failure to act (not seeking medical help when needed);
• sexual contact which someone has not consented to, or cannot consent to.
Keith Hinkley, the Council’s Director of Adult Social Care, chairs the county-wide partnership Safeguarding Board. This includes the NHS, Sussex Police, and voluntary organisations. He said:
“It can be difficult for people to say when they’re being abused.
They may not realise it’s happening, or be too scared to say something, particularly if the abuser is someone close to them.
This campaign will help to raise awareness of the issue and if it prevents just one person suffering abuse then it will have been a success.”
Last year (2009/10) there were 2,117 cases of adult abuse referred to the authorities in East Sussex, which resulted in 1,494 investigations.
It is not just older people who are targets, but anyone over 18 who might need support because of physical or learning disability, mental health issues, or just because they are isolated or lonely.
So, if you suspect abuse is happening to any adult ‘Speak up, speak out!’ and call 0345 60 80 191.