If you think a person is being abused your actions may help that person to manage their situation better. A person who is vulnerable may be unable to protect themselves from harm. Anybody may experience abuse at some time in their life.You may suspect a person is being abused if you notice changes in their personality or behaviour.
A really good resource to help you think about supporting someone you know who is a victim of domestic abuse is found on the This Is Not An Excuse site. We highly recommend you make yourself familiar with it.
If someone tells you they are being abused stay calm and listen, take what they say seriously. The person being abused must be the one to make any decisions about who to contact and what action to take, provided they have the mental capacity to do so. If a person does not have the mental capacity to make this decision then you should act in their best interest.
Leaving an abusive relationship is a complex decision. The risks to the person being abused can actually increase after the relationship had ended. The whole process of leaving may require planning to ensure it is safe; if you are ministering to someone in this situation, please speak to the Safeguarding Team for advice. You can also find advice and support by using the links below.
If a person is in immediate danger, contact the police without delay on 999. If the person experiencing abuse is not considered to be a vulnerable adult, and they do not consider themselves in immediate danger, then help them contact the police on 101 as abuse is a crime.
If a person is considered to be a vulnerable adult then, with their consent where practicable, contact your local authority Adult Safeguarding Team.
Please use these links to get further understanding, advice and support about this area:
Sussex Police's Domestic Abuse Page provides very useful information to a number of local and national organisations, and is the best place to start. It also gives you links to different ways to report domestic abuse.
If you suspect a person is being abused you can still contact adults social care to get advice. You may want to talk to the person first to get their perspective and their consent to talk to others. Alternatively, contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team (see the 'About' section of this site), we’ll be happy to hear your concerns and give advice on what to do next.
If you suspect abuse in an institution such as a care home, consider contacting the manager of the institution, Adults Social Care or the Care Quality Commission who inspect care homes.