Definition of a Vulnerable Adult
A person who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or
illness; and who is or may b unable to take care of him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.
The aim of this policy is to make every member aware of the kind of behaviours that may constitute abuse, ill
treatment or unfairness.
To make members aware of a range of behaviours that will therefore not be tolerated and to encourage its members
to speak out against any occasion of such behaviour either experienced or witnessed. It also gives information on
the actions to be taken should there be a suspect case of abuse.
Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons.
Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be physical, sexual, verbal or psychological; it may be an
act of neglect or an omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or
sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and may
result in significant harm to or exploitation of the person subjected to it.
As a result of abuse harm is done which results in psychological, physical or emotional damage to a person from whom they need care and support to recover.
Physical abuse: Any deliberate act to cause physical harm including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication or restraint or the use of inappropriate sanctions.
Sexual abuse: Includes rape and sexual assault, or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or to which
he or she could not consent or was pressured into consenting. Also the exposure to and observation of sexual acts
without informed consent.
Psychological abuse: Includes emotional abuse, threats or harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation,
Blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or
Financial or material abuse: Includes theft fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or
financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
Neglect or acts of omission: Includes ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access t appropriate health
or social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life such as medication, nutrition and heating.
Discriminatory abuse: Includes racist, religious and sexist abuse, abuse based on a person’s disability and other
forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.
Institutional abuse: Is mistreatment or abuse by a regime or the individuals within an institution.
What to do if abuse is suspected, experienced or witnessed
Should a Communities Welfare Network ’s member or volunteer find themselves in the above position, the
management committee would consider
that in line with upholding the organisational values of mutual respect and support, that the member would report the incident
to a trustee.
The trustee would then pass on the information to chair or a relevant and appropriate body to deal with the case.
Information about an alleged abuse will be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis and treated in the strictest confidence.
The alleged abusers right to confidentiality must also be upheld.
Policy updated on 12/12/2013