Date Published: 05 June 2020
Rutland County Council is asking residents to be vigilant and to call them if they become concerned for the safety of an adult who may be at risk of abuse.
Over the past two months, social distancing measures brought in to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) have led to people spending more time at home, where there are fewer opportunities to escape abuse.
With some COVID-19 restrictions now being eased, non-essential shops due to reopen and people permitted to spend more time outside, members of the public will have more opportunities to spot and report abuse.
There are many different forms of abuse, including physical, sexual and financial. It can also affect many different people; those who are particularly at risk include both men and women living with partners who have a history of abusive behaviour, older people, people with learning disabilities, those with mental health issues and those experiencing issues with substance dependency.
“Lockdown has meant that we’ve all been spending more time at home, indoors. For some, this has meant spending more time with an abuser. If you think someone is at risk of abuse, we have a dedicated service that can offer advice, support and assistance; please get in touch.”
Councillor Alan Walters, Cabinet Member for Safeguarding Adults
The Council is asking local people to be alert to signs of possible abuse. These could include aggressive or repeated shouting and the noise of hitting, crying or things being broken. Relatives and close friends may also notice things like social media accounts being quieter than usual, behaviour during calls that is out of character and restriction of calls.
Visible signs of abuse can include physical injuries like cuts and bruises that can’t be explained, fear of receiving help with personal care, signs of distress like tearfulness or anger, a change in appetite or weight loss, withdrawal or a change in someone’s psychological state.
“Abuse isn’t always physical, it's a pattern of controlling, threatening and coercive behaviour, which can also be emotional, economic, psychological or sexual. But no form of abuse is acceptable, so if you’ve been affected by it, get in touch with Rutland County Council. We’d also like to appeal to other residents to be extra vigilant at this time and report suspected or known abuse, particularly with regards to at risk groups like older people and people with learning difficulties. These are unprecedented times, and we know there might be lots of explanations for unusual behaviour but if you see or hear anything that concerns you, please let the Council know so they can make an assessment of the risks.”
Fran Pearson, Independent Chair of the Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Adults Board
To report abuse call our Adult Safeguarding Team on: 01572 758 341 or see our. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.