Some people don't want to tell others that they are being abused. This may be because they don't want the person to get into trouble. They may prefer to ignore the problem in the hope that it will go away. Other people are ashamed or afraid of what will happen to them if they tell. If you think you are being abused it is not your fault and there are ways in which you can get help. Don't ignore the problem, it will probably not go away on its own.
If you don't think you need immediate help from the police or are worried about calling them, then you can call social services. It is important to remember that if you are being abused, it is not your fault. Don't worry about telling others that you think you are being abused - it is important that you get help. If you want, you can ask someone else to contact social services on your behalf. Your call can remain anonymous and everything you say will be kept confidential. To report a concern contact Sutton Council's Adults and Safeguarding Referral Point on 020 8770 6770, email email@example.com, or complete this referral form. You can call after 5 pm or at the weekend - do not wait until the next working day. Calls at these times are dealt with by the Emergency Duty Team. All calls are dealt with confidentially.
A member of staff will respond as quickly as possible. They will usually ask your permission - or the permission of the vulnerable person you are worried about - before they do anything, or share any information about the situation with other people. The only exceptions to this are in situations where others may also be at risk of abuse, or if the person is not able to make their own decisions because of a lack of mental capacity.
Where the abuse is also a crime, such as assault, racial harassment, rape or theft, call the police on 999. You should always do this if you are worried that you or someone you know is in immediate danger.
If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS text from your mobile phone. However, you will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergencySMS first. There is a British Sign Language video explaining the service.
In less urgent cases you can contact the police without using the emergency 999 service:
The following organisations can provide advice and support:
This page is about vulnerable people who are over 18. If you are concerned about the safety or welfare of a child or a young person, contact children's safeguarding immediately.
Foundation for People With Learning Disabilities has produced an easy-read leaflet called Loneliness and Cruelty in which people with learning disabilities describe their experience of harassment, abuse and related crime in the community.
Further advice can be seen in a Mencap blog about bullying.
Suffolk County Council has produced an excellent video which explains more about abuse and neglect, and may be particularly helpful for people with learning disabilities or dementia.
Easy Health has easy-read leaflets and videos which will help people with learning disabilities to understand what abuse is, and to know what to do if they think they are being subjected to abuse. View the leaflets