Fife people are being urged to act on their instinct if they think an adult is being harmed, neglected or taken advantage of, says Fife Adult Support and Protection Committee (ASPC).
The ASPC is supporting National Adult Protection Day tomorrow (February 20) aimed at raising awareness of adult harm and encouraging people to act on their gut feeling that somebody may be experiencing harm or is at risk of it.
Adult harm can take many forms, such as physical, psychological, financial, sexual harm, neglect and self-harm.
Alan Small, independent chair of Fife ASPC said: “If you thought a child was at risk of harm, you would do something about it. It should be no different for an adult. But many people are not aware of adult harm or of the need to act on their concerns.
Adult harm can affect anybody, but people who can’t look after themselves or find it difficult to stand up for themselves can be particularly at risk, because of their personal circumstances, or a physical or learning disability, age or illness and infirmity.”
It’s not always easy to tell if an adult is in trouble, but the signs and situations to be aware of include:
· A person may have unexplained cuts and bruises, or refuse to talk about injuries
· They may be confused where their money has gone, or are giving money to people for reasons that might concern you
· They may appear unusually quiet, withdrawn or nervous around certain people, or get upset at the mention of their relationship
· They may constantly be having people – friends or strangers – ‘hanging out’ at their house
· They may look less well turned out than usual or hungry.
Mr Small continued: “People often have an instinctual feeling that someone is being harmed or is at risk; a sense that something is not right. It is vital to raise your concerns – call Fife’s Adult Protection Phone Line on 01383 602200. You don’t need to provide your personal details; the Social Work Service will check the situation sensitively, and support will be given, if needed.
“We all have a responsibility to look out for people in our communities and by acting, the person who is at risk could get help and become safe from harm. If something feels wrong, you’re right to get it checked out. If you’ve seen something, say something.”
For more information, visit www.fifedirect.org.uk/adultprotection.