Keeping Safe

What is abuse?


Abuse is about the misuse of the power and control that one person has over another. It’s about whether harm was caused, and the impact of the harm (or risk of harm) on the individual.

The law defines the types of abuse as:

    Physical abuse 

    Domestic violence

    Sexual abuse

    Psychological abuse

    Financial or material abuse

    Discriminatory abuse

    Modern slavery


    Organisational abuse

    Neglect and acts of omission


For more information on these please


Who can be affected?

Abuse can affect adults of any age, background or disability.

Who could the abuser be?

Vulnerable adults may be abused by a wide range of people including

  • relatives and family members
  • professional staff, paid care workers 
  • volunteers, other service users 
  • neighbours, friends and associates 
  • people who deliberately exploit
  • strangers

How can you tell someone is being abused?

Some people may not realise they are being abused. Often the person being harmed is not able to say what is happening to them. Here are some warning signs that you can look for:

  • Bruises, falls and injuries
  • Signs of neglect such as clothes being dirty
  • Poor care either at home or in a residential or nursing home or hospital
  • Changes in someone’s financial situation
  • Changes in behaviour such as loss of confidence or nervousness
  • Isolation
  • Being withdrawn

Whatever the abuse or the setting, abuse is not acceptable and a violation of a person's basic human rights. Adults have the right to receive support and live a life free from abuse and neglect. Most people find it difficult to imagine that vulnerable adults and older people are victims of abuse. It is a hidden and often ignored problem in society. We recognise the need to protect vulnerable people from abuse.

What can you do?

If you suspect or witnessed an adult being abused, please tell someone

  • You will be taken seriously
  • Please take immediate action and use the contact numbers below

Who can help? 

If you think someone is in immediate danger dial 999.

If it is not an emergency you can contact the police by dialling 101


You can contact the Customer Service Centre:


   Telephone: 01522 782155

                     01522 782333 – out of normal working hours   

People who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired can contact the police’s typetalk service.

    Typetalk: 01522 558263 and 01522 558140, the mobile number is 07761 911287.

If you believe a child or young adult under the age of 18 years might be suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm (including any mistreatment or abuse), contact the Children Services CSC:

    Telephone: 01522 782111.

                      01522 782333 - outside normal office hours

If you look after someone and are concerned about them, or yourself, you can contact Carers FIRST:        

    Telephone: 0300 303 1555



Domestic Abuse:

Women's Aid and Refuge run in partnership the National Domestic Violence Freephone 24 hour helpline

    Telephone: 0808 2000 247 

    Mens' Advice Line: 0808 801 0327

EDAN Lincs Domestic Abuse Service (formerly West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service) is a registered charity.  We cover the county of Lincolnshire, and provide support and assistance to women, men and children suffering, or fleeing from domestic abuse.

    Telephone:    01522 510041


Financial Abuse:

Victim Support: An independent charity, that work towards a world where people affected by crime or traumatic events get the support they need and the respect they deserve.

    Free phone: 0808 168 9 111

 Self Neglect & Hoarding

Hoarding UK: HoardingUK is the only UK-wide charity solely dedicated to supporting people affected by hoarding behaviours.  Their aim is to empower individuals experiencing hoarding behaviours to achieve spatial and personal change, to reduce isolation and improve their health and well-being.

    Free helpline, advice and advocacy call: 020 3239 1600

Reengage formerly known as Contact the Elderly: organises monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people aged 75 and over who are dealing with loneliness and social isolation.

    Network of volunteers 0800 716 543

Modern Slavery

Modern Slavery: Provides victims, the public, statutory agencies and businesses access to information and support on a 24/7 basis.

    Helpline 0800 0121 700



    Give information anonymously on 0800 555 111 

Salvation Army: 
The Salvation Army provides specialist support for all adult victims of modern slavery in England and Wales through a government contract which was first awarded in 2011. They deliver a specialist support programme to protect and care for all adult victims of this heinous crime. 

    Helpline 24-hour confidential referral helpline on 0300 3038151 (7 days a week) 


Age UK

    Advice Line 0800 169 8787

Action on Elder Abuse: 
They are the only charity in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland working exclusively on this issue, and they provide knowledge, expertise and support to thousands of people every year.

    Helpline: 080 8808 8141

If the person is in a care home, day centre or has a paid carer you can complain to that provider directly.

    Contact CQC


For more information you can visit the Lincolnshire Adult Safeguarding pages