Diocese of Chichester Safeguarding

I am worried an adult has been or is being abused

If you are worried about an adult, you should follow this advice:

  • If you, or the person you are concerned about, are injured, call an ambulance or a doctor
  • If you think a crime has been committed, contact the police on 101 or, in an emergency, 999
  • Contact the relevant Adult Social Care department in Sussex:
East Sussex Adult Social Care
West Sussex Adult Social Care
Brighton and Hove Adult Social Care

You can do this without giving your name. You should make a note of your concerns, what has happened and anything you have done about it.

If you are concerned about someone you know, try to speak to them, if it is safe to do this. Tell them why you are concerned and ask them what they want you to do about it. Always try to get them to agree to getting help.

If somebody has told you that they have been abused, it is likely to have been one of the most difficult things they have ever said. It may have taken weeks, months or years for that individual to ‘open up’ about what has happened to them.

It is understandable for you to feel unsure about what to do, most people have little experience of helping someone through this kind of thing.

The most important thing is to listen, don’t question. Believe what they are saying and tell them this.

Victims of abuse can be confronted with lots of choices. Should they report their assault? Ask for counselling? Get checked out at a clinic? Allow them to be in control and ask how you can help. It is important that they come to their own decision of what the next steps may be. However, you should always be clear that if what they tell you indicates a child may be at risk as well, you will have to report what they say to the relevant authorities.